Clampers and drivers

 

Sir, – Your report on the intervention of the Minister for Transport in the case where a woman’s car was clamped at the Luas carpark in Stillorgan, Co Dublin, is replete with references to “statutory periods”, “clamping appeals officer”, the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 and, of course, thinly veiled outrage that the Minister got involved in this matter at all (“Shane Ross ‘strongly asked’ for constituent’s clamping fine to be reconsidered”, News, December 29th).

The woman concerned had mistyped her car registration when paying for her parking. A friend of mine, also female, suffered very badly in the same car park when she transposed two numbers of her car registration at the parking payment machine. She was left isolated late at night in an otherwise deserted area for a substantial period of time, with her car immobilised, until the de-clamping unit arrived. The fee she had to pay for that was a trivial matter in comparison to the trauma she had suffered up to that point.

That’s the real news in these cases. The people concerned were not penalised for failing to pay for parking. They received a severe and totally disproportionate punishment for nothing worse than making a typographical error. And despite all the responses from the National Transport Authority (NTA) about the appeals process and so forth, the relevant Act says nothing at all about the onus being placed on drivers to record their car registrations at parking-ticket machines.

It is high time that this grossly unfair method of administering parking was stopped. It is in this regard that the Minister could make a real contribution. – Yours, etc,

SEAMUS McKENNA,

Windy Arbour,

Dublin 14.