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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 NTA of vehicle clamping activities in both statutory and non-statutory (privately-owned) clamping places 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 & 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 also 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 release fees may be paid
  • The form of the clamping notice
  • Provisions relating to signage at clamping places other than public roads (these provisions will take effect on 1st April 2018)

View or download the Vehicle Clamping and Signage Regulations 2017 here

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; or
  • The identification of vehicles used by clamping operators (including logos, stickers and advertisement on such vehicles).

In addition, the Authority may make regulations concerning appeals to parking controllers from members of the public against instances of clamping and must designate one or more persons as clamping appeals officer(s) to hear further appeals (second-stage appeals) from motorists who are dissatisfied with the outcome of their initial appeals to the parking controller.

The appeals and complaints procedures came into force on 1st October 2017. From that date the NTA processes all second-stage clamping appeals arising from clamping activities anywhere in the State including such appeals against on-street clamping in Dublin City which were previously administered by Dublin City Council.

View or download the Clamping Appeals Procedure here
View or download the Clamping Appeals Form here
View or download the Clamping Complaints Procedure here
View or download the Clamping Complaints Form here

Code of Practice

The Authority will prepare a draft code of practice providing practical guidance regarding compliance with the Act and the regulations and establishing standards in relation to the general behaviour, performance of duties and conduct of parking controllers and clamping operators with regard to 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 Q2 of 2018.

Enforcement

The NTA is empowered under Part 4 of the Act to appoint persons as authorised persons for the purposes of enforcement of the Act and of 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 enquiries initiated by the NTA or otherwise arising.

Other Provisions

The Act also prohibits clamping and relocating certain vehicles (emergency ambulances, fire brigade vehicles, Garda vehicles etc.) and updates and amends provisions relating to clamping on public roads contained in the Road Traffic Act 1961 and on properties controlled by certain statutory bodies.