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Introduction

The Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 came into full effect on 1st October 2017.

The Act provides for the regulation, by the National Transport Authority (NTA), of vehicle clamping activities in both statutory and non-statutory (privately-owned) clamping places.

This is throughout the State and also contains some other legislative provisions relating to clamping.

The main provisions of the Act give the NTA the power to:

  • Make clamping and signage regulations.
  • Establish appeals and complaints processes.
  • Make a code of practice for parking controllers and clamping operators.
  • Investigate and prosecute any alleged breaches of regulations.

The full Act is available to view or download at www.irishstatutebook.ie.

Clamping & Signage Regulations

The Authority has made regulations, in accordance with the provisions of the Act, and these regulations came into effect on 1st October 2017.

The main issues addressed in the regulations are:

  • “Grace time” before clamping can take place.
  • Time for removal of clamp, following payment of the release fee.
  • Maximum amount of release and relocation fees in non-statutory clamping places.
  • How the release fees may be paid.
  • The form of the clamping notice.
  • Provisions relating to signage at clamping places, other than public roads.

View or download the Vehicle Clamping and Signage Regulations 2017.

Appeals & Complaints

The Act provides that the Authority may set up a complaints procedure to consider complaints from members of the public concerning:

  • The discharge of responsibilities by parking controllers (persons responsible for the enforcement of the law or rules applicable to a clamping place).
  • The conduct, behaviour and identification of clamping operators.
  • Unnecessary delay on the part of parking controllers or clamping operators in responding to complaints, or other communication from members of the public.
  • The identification of vehicles used by clamping operators (including logos, stickers and advertisement on such vehicles).

The Authority may make regulations concerning appeals to parking controllers from members of the public, against instances of clamping. 

They must designate one or more individual as a Clamping Appeals Officer to hear second-stage appeals from motorists who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their initial appeal.

From 1st October 2017, the NTA processes all second-stage clamping appeals that arise from clamping activities anywhere in the State.

This includes appeals against on-street clamping in Dublin City, which were previously administered by Dublin City Council.

 

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Code of Practice

The Authority will prepare a draft code of practice providing:

  • Practical guidance regarding compliance with the Act.
  • Regulations and establishing standards in relation to the general behaviour, conduct and performance of duties of parking controllers and clamping operators regarding clamping activities.

The statutory consultation process will be undertaken before the finalised code is made and published. The code, when adopted, will be legally enforceable.

It is envisaged that the draft code will be ready for consultation in Q3 of 2019.

Enforcement

The NTA is empowered, under Part 4 of the Act, to appoint individuals as authorised persons for the purpose of enforcing the Act, regulations and any code of conduct made under the Act.

Where necessary the Authority may take proceedings against parking controllers and clamping operators for breaches of their statutory duties.

This action may be taken arising from complaints investigated in accordance with the Complaints Procedure, or following independent inquiries initiated by the NTA or otherwise arising.

Other Provisions

The Act prohibits clamping and relocating certain vehicles, for example emergency ambulances, fire brigade and Garda vehicles.

The Act also amends provisions contained in the Road Traffic Act 1961, relating to clamping on public roads and on properties controlled by certain statutory bodies.