October 13, 2011
Beleaguered motorists are being hit with more penalty fines than ever. Last year, traffic wardens handed out more than four million tickets, with penalties of up to £105 a time — generating up to £420 million.
This number was inflated by the increasingly underhand methods which councils are using to catch out drivers. Many tickets were generated through mobile CCTV cameras, often hidden in Smart cars parked at junctions.
The camera cars were originally introduced to provide traffic safety outside schools, but have been increasingly used to capture motorists who park illegally even for just a few seconds.
Many believe that councils are using the cameras (which are operated by officials in the vehicles) as a way of squeezing money from residents — despite the current council tax freeze, which was supposed to ease the burden on cash-strapped families.