Dorset County Council - Civil Parking Enforcement Annual Reports and Parking Policies
The aim of parking enforcement is to improve compliance for the benefit of all road users. Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs) issue Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) to illegally parked vehicles.
Five minutes observation time
Some PCNs are issued instantly but the council allows 5 minutes observation time on yellow lines except where there are "No Loading" transverse kerb markings. The 5 minutes give the driver time to load and unload. The same 5 minutes apply to vehicles in Pay and Display parking bays whilst drivers purchase a ticket for display in their vehicle.
The 5 minutes observation time does not start when the driver parks the vehicle; it starts when the CEO logs the vehicle in his/her handheld computer.
Challenging a fine
Once a PCN has been issued, CEOs are not allowed to cancel it or "take it back". If a driver believes a PCN has been issued incorrectly or there are mitigating circumstances that should be taken into consideration, the driver has the right to appeal to the council and ultimately to the Traffic Penalty Tribunal. Appeals to the Tribunal are free of charge. However, drivers must choose whether to pay or appeal because once a PCN has been paid, there is no right of appeal.
How parking enforcement is funded
Parking enforcement is not funded out of Council Tax. The majority of the funding comes from parking penalties, for example, illegally parked drivers. If there were no vehicles parked in contravention, no PCNs would be issued and there would be no need for enforcement.
Dorset County Council has carried out Civil Parking Enforcement (CPE) in Dorset since 2002. This is a statutory function. The parking procedures which have been applied since 2002 have now been set out as a two part parking policy. Part 1 covers general principle of CPE and enforcement guidelines for Civil Enforcement Officers (CEOs). Part 2 deals with the appeals procedures and cancellations criteria.