CLAMPERS in Dublin City caught 1,000 fewer motorists this month after pardoning drivers forced to abandon their cars during the big chill.
Dublin motorists who got stuck in the snow on the streets were excused by the clampers -- in a goodwill gesture during the cold snap.
Paul Dennehy, a spokesman for Dublin Street Parking Services (DSPS), who are contracted to provide the clamping service to Dublin City Council (DCC) says clampers took a "common sense approach" during the snowy spell.
"People did legitimately get stuck and caught in the snow, and we took a common sense approach to that. We moved some vehicles which were stuck to safer and legitimate places but we didn't clamp them."
Another reason for the drop was that there were fewer cars on the roads during the snow.
"People don't take their cars out," he said.
Normally, drivers have to fork out €80 to DSPS to free their clamped car.
Mr Dennehy also told the Herald that Dublin's clamping service has not been curtailed by cutbacks in DCC, and the service will remain the same for 2010.
"The service hasn't decreased at all. If clampers leave, we don't replace them, but the service still hasn't decreased."
But clampers have been encountering incidents of verbal abuse as they do their job around the city in the recession, the spokesman said.
"There are incidents of verbal abuse from passersby," admitted Mr Dennehy.
"There tends to be a lot of verbal abuse from them, but people being clamped themselves don't tend to be. We do training with all clampers, so they're trained very highly in conflict management to stay very calm during incidents."