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Parking fines may be scrapped

Drivers may no longer be penalised for not buying a ticket – but may get ‘post-payment’ bill instead, in transport plans

PARKING fines could be scrapped after the head of one of the country’s transport authorities suggested that towns to move to a new system of higher “post-payment” charges for those who do not pay on the spot.

Roland Ries, the president of the transport authorities group GART, senator and mayor of Strasbourg, said parking fines were ineffective, expensive to recover, were ignored by 50% of defaulters and saw 90% of the money vanish in administration costs.

A better system was to stop penalising motorists for parking and instead bill them for the parking service provided: either hourly or by the day.

He said nothing would change for people who paid their normal parking fees each day and they would still benefit from the “hourly rate” but those who had been gambling on receiving a €17 fine would instead face a new daily parking payment – of the whole day’s parking rate.

Mr Ries said too many motorists felt that an occasional €17 fine was a price well worth paying for not having to buy a parking ticket each day.

Now towns in Gart would turn the tables and those who did not pay the “hourly rate” would instead receive a post-payment bill for the “daily rate” of up to 10 times the hourly rate. This bill would be sent out by the Agence Nationale de Traitement Automatisé des Infractions (Antai) and had the added attraction for towns that it was the mairie that set the daily rate – unlike the €17 fine, which is set by the state.

The Senate has already approved the plan and it is being put to the National Assembly today as part of the law on decentralisation. If approved, the proposals will take two years to come into force.
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