Charity calls for parking amnesty over ChristmasPostponing parking fines could cut drink driving

09 December 2009

Parking ticket

Motorists could be tempted to drink and drive at Christmas to avoid a parking ticket

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is calling for an amnesty over car park penalty charges this Christmas.

The IAM is targeting station car parks in particular, reckoning that the prospect of overnight penalty charges may tempt commuters to ‘chance’ driving home following post-work Christmas drinks. Statistics from 2007 suggest that as many as 493,000 people commute into Central London by train every day. Such an amnesty could save lives, the IAM reckons.

Parking grace period

The IAM wants car parks - those at railway stations and anywhere else long-stay that commuters are encouraged to park - to give people until 9:30 the following morning before issuing a penalty notice or clamping the car. This period of grace would allow commuters time to return to their cars and purchase a new parking ticket.

Kevin Delaney, IAM Head of Road Safety, said: ‘Drivers can be more tempted to drink over the Christmas period than at any other time of year, and reassuring commuters that their car will not be clamped or fined when they retrieve it the next morning will help avoid risk-taking behaviour.

‘An amnesty will allow commuters a chance to get to the station and pay for the next day’s parking before getting a fine. Transport bosses should make it easier to leave the car alone if you have had a drink.’

If you want to appeal a parking ticket, find out more about your rights in our guide.

The morning after

Delaney is also quick to point out that commuters should remember they may still be over the limit the morning after the night before: ‘If you still feel ill or have had a large amount to drink the night before you shouldn’t risk drink driving.’

The IAM is Britain’s largest independent road charity, and has over 100,000 full members in the UK and Ireland.


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