Fleet operator organisation ACFO wants all car parks, not just council-owned ones, to adopt a 10-minute grace period for drivers who overstay a parking space time limit.
It has welcomed the regulation change, which is expected to come into effect shortly, in respect of a paid or free parking space both on-street and off-street in council-owned car parks, but now wants the British Parking Association to encourage the widespread adoption of a similar grace period.
ACFO is also reminding fleet decision-makers, company car and van drivers and employees who drive their own cars on business, that there has been no change in the maximum time periods for which vehicles are allowed to be parked.
ACFO chairman John Pryor said: “We welcome the Government’s approach. However, we believe that there should be consistency across all car parks so would hope that the British Parking Association would encourage its members to take a similar more lenient view where drivers overstay the maximum period by just a few minutes.”
However, he added: “The 10-minute grace period should not be viewed by drivers as an automatic extension of the period of time they have paid to park. Drivers should still aim to return to their vehicles within the maximum time allowed, but in the knowledge that in the event of a small delay they may escape a hefty fine.”
Managing fines relating to parking and traffic offences can prove to be a legal, financial and HR administrative nightmare for fleet decision-makers and company car and van drivers alike.
That’s why last year ACFO held a parking and motoring fines ‘master class’.
Pryor said: “The issues around both Fixed Penalty Notices and Penalty Charge Notices are confusing. It is proving to be a legal, financial and HR minefield for the unwary.
“Many car parks are monitored by number plate recognition cameras with any resulting fines timed to the second. That’s why drivers must continue to be watchful and ensure they return to their vehicles within the maximum parking time allowed.
“Drivers’ personal watches and clocks on buildings may not be as accurate as those used by parking operators, which is why the grace period should not be viewed as a minimum allowance.”