herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Gardai best at getting a clamp refund

GARDAI and foreign tourists are among the groups most likely to have successful appeals against being clamped, a new report shows.

All of the 19 members of the force who appealed after they were 'illegally' parked in the Dublin city area last year were granted full refunds.

In addition, 76 of the 105 foreign tourists -- or 72pc -- who submitted challenges in 2010 had their money returned to them.

Other categories with high success rates were drivers with disabled badges (81pc) or parking permits (66pc) and for reasons of a medical or personal emergency (52pc).

However, only 11pc of motorists who claimed the pay-and-display machine was not working were successful.

Excuses relating to compassionate grounds (17pc), poor signs/road markings (16pc) and the ticket not being visible (6pc) were also given short shrift.

The information is contained in the latest report from parking appeals officer William Keilthy.

Mr Keilthy pointed out gardai on duty were "exempt from the requirement to comply with the parking and traffic regulations enforced by the city council".

Mr Keilthy said genuine foreign tourists were normally granted a refund as a "gesture of goodwill" unless they had "blatantly ignored the regulations".

He also debunked the notion that Dublin Street Parking Services (DSPS) -- which is contracted by the city council to clamp vehicles -- aggressively targets motorists.

In the period from 2002 to 2010, 522,010 cars within the local authority's jurisdiction were clamped, relocated or removed to the pound.

It worked out as "an average of 58,001 cars per year compared to an estimated 16 to 18 million on-street pay parking events per year".

The figures mean only about 0.3pc of vehicles which parked in Dublin city are clamped or removed.

Drivers whose cars are clamped have to pay a release fee of €80.

If their cars are impounded, they have to pay a fee of €160 plus a €35-a-day storage charge.

comurphy@herald.ie

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