Freedom for who?
A proposed new law aimed at banishing cowboy clampers could simply allow them to move on to other methods of enforcement unchecked.
The Home Office has published details of the Freedom Bill introduced before parliament today.
It outlaws wheel clamping but does not introduce any regulation to control clampers who might turn to other forms of enforcement such as ticketing.
The Security Industry Authority (SIA) – which currently licences individual wheel clampers – has also confirmed that a plan to introduce an independent appeals service for drivers has been scrapped:
“Once the new offence takes effect the Security Industry Authority’s licensing regime will become redundant. The relevant provisions under the private Security Industry Act will be repealed at that point. Similarly, the provisions in the Crime and Security Act 2010 which provided for the licensing of wheel clamping businesses and an independent appeal system for motorists, which have not been brought into force, will also be repealed.”
Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“This is called the Freedom Bill, but who exactly is it giving freedom to? Cowboy clampers might soon be outlawed, but what happens if they simply turn to ticketing and try to harass motorists to pay up on the spot?
“It would have been simple for ministers to propose a binding code of practice on all parking enforcers no matter what method they use, yet this seems to be completely absent from the bill, leaving drivers to face yet more punishment. Progress has been made and we welcome most of what has been published, but why haven’t ministers finished the job?”
Philip Gomm – Head of External Communications – RAC Foundation
Philip.email@example.com / 020 7747 3486 / 07711 776448
Notes to editors:
The RAC Foundation is a charity that explores the economic, mobility, safety and environmental issues relating to roads and responsible road users. Independent and authoritative research, carried out for the public benefit, is central to the Foundation’s activities.
The Freedom Bill was introduced into Parliament today, 11th February 2011: