In these beleaguered times it might not surprise you to know that motorists have paid more than £182 million in fines since 2012 for a variety of offences, including driving in bus lanes, stopping in yellow box junctions, and committing an illegal u-turn.
What might surprise you is that it is local councils, using CCTV cameras to spy on motorists, that have issued these fines – and the first these drivers will know of it is when the Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) lands on their doormat.
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Is this legal?
Yes, it is. And it’s on the rise; the number of CCTV cameras used for traffic offence enforcement has risen by 76% since 2012, a year in which just 25 councils were issuing fines using them.
How many cameras are we talking about?
There are believed to be 768 active CCTV cameras across the UK, whose only role is to monitor, and collect evidence of, motoring offences. Wandsworth Council leads the pack, with 122 CCTV cameras devoted to traffic offence monitoring.
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Which authority leads the league table in income raised through PCNs?
Glasgow City Council has raked in over £4 million in fines in 2015 already, having issued 131,238 PCNs.
Ealing Council closely follows it with £3 million in fines and 57,167 PCNs, while the London Borough of Lambeth is in third place with fines worth £2.9 million and 62,891 PCNs.
How much is a Penalty Charge Notice?
A typical PCN is for £60, a sum that is halved to £30 if it is paid within 14 days.
However, unlike Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) issued by the police, no penalty points can be attached to your driving licence via a PCN.
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Can I appeal against a Penalty Charge Notice?
Yes, of course. You have 28 days to start an appeal, but we’d advise doing so within 14 days. If you do so, you will still qualify for the discounted fine, even if your appeal is rejected.
This initial appeal is called an ‘informal challenge’ and is made by writing to the authority that issued the PCN giving the grounds for your appeal. You should also enclose photocopies of any parking tickets or Blue Badges that you think make you exempt from the fine. You can also appeal online against a PCN.
If the informal challenge is successful then the fine will be cancelled. If it is unsuccessful you will be issued with a ‘Notice to Owner’ with instructions on how to pay the fine or launch a formal appeal.
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But I wasn’t even in that city!
The rise in the use of CCTV cameras by local authorities and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras by the police has led to an increase in the number of cloned cars on the road. Our article about car cloning scams tells you how to deal with any tickets that have been incorrectly issued to you as a result of cloning.
Is my local council using CCTV cameras to issue Penalty Charge Notices?
The following councils are using CCTV cameras to monitor traffic offences and issue fines:
Aberdeen City Council
Barnet Borough Council
Bedford Borough Council
Birmingham City Council
Bury City Council
City and County of Swansea
City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council
City of London
City of Westminster
Coventry City Council
Essex County Council
Glasgow City Council
Kingston Upon Thames
Liverpool City Council
London Borough of Bexley
London Borough Of Havering
London Borough of Hounslow
London Borough of Lambeth
London Borough of Merton
London Borough of Waltham Forest
Nottingham City Council
Oxfordshire County Council
Plymouth City Council
Rochdale Borough Council
Sheffield City Council
Somerset County Council
South Tyneside Council
Staffordshire County Council
Swindon Borough Council
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Wolverhampton City Council
For more useful tips and information, browse our motoring articles.
Have you been issued with a PCN? Or do you think that offending drivers deserve to receive a fine? We’d love to hear your comments!
*Research and FOI requests courtesy of confused.com.
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