Pat McCartan welcomes publication of Clamping Bill to protect motorists from rogue clampers

Fine Gael Councillor Pat McCartan has welcomed yesterday’s publication of the Vehicle Clamping Bill 2014.

“This Bill will ensure that all clamping activities are carried out in a fair and transparent manner, and will protect motorists and legitimate clamping companies,” he stated.

The Bill introduces consistency to clamping for the first time, whether it’s on public or private land. Legislation is already in place governing clamping on the public road and on land occupied by certain statutory bodies, but the new Bill will now also regulate clamping on private property.

It sets up a new regulatory regime, a simple two-step appeals process, a default maximum clamping release fee of €100 for private property, a code of practice for operators, and a new requirement that signs must always be displayed where clamping is in operation.

“Laws are already in place to oversee clamping in public places, which allow local authorities or their agents to clamp vehicles. However, the clamping of vehicles on private property is not governed by any specific laws,” Councillor Pat McCartan explained.

“This new Bill protects motorists and legitimate clamping operators, but will penalise bad behaviour by rogue operators. There will also be a simple appeals mechanism for all types of clamping for the first time,” he outlined.

“There have been a number of cases where private clampers are reported to have behaved unfairly or inappropriately, so regulating the entire clamping industry for the first time is a positive move. An outright ban on clamping on private property isn’t possible, as business owners and apartment complex management companies need to be able to deal with nuisance parking. However, the practice must be regulated.

“This Bill, I believe, strikes the right balance between the competing rights of individual motorists who want fair play, the rights of people and businesses to deal with parking issues on their own land, and the responsibility of local councils to manage the limited resource of parking on the public road. The goal is to ensure transparency for all forms of clamping at all times, and that due process is always followed,” Councillor Pat McCartan concluded.