As more and more cars frequent our roads, there is an ever-present issue of finding a car park. With this comes a sneaky temptation to take the risk of parking in a restricted area.
It should come as no surprise when your vehicle is clamped as a result and, unfortunately, it happens all too often for some.
However, with new laws set to come into play this year, it will be the clamping operators that will have to check their policies when it comes to dealing with illegally parked vehicles.
The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill was introduced on April 4 last year and with it successfully passing its third reading in November, it is expected that the new laws will come into force in early 2020.
The bill proposes new rules around regulating the fees charged by wheel clamp operators. It will now be an offence for an operator to charge more than the prescribed amount to remove a wheel clamp, with the amount set to be prescribed under the regulations.
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The clamp operators are, however, still able to require the payment of the fee before the clamping device is removed from the vehicle. It will also be an offence if the clamping operator fails to remove the wheel clamp as soon as reasonably practical after the fee has been paid.
If clamp operators do not conform to the above proposed new laws, they will be liable on conviction to a fine of up to $3000 in the case of an individual, and $15,000 for a body corporate.
It will also be a requirement for the operator to be reasonably available to respond to requests from the owner of the vehicle relating to a clamp removal.
If the operator fails to be reasonably available, the owner of the vehicle can remove the clamp and will not be under any liability for removal as long as they cause as little damage to the clamp as possible.
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The proposed amendments to the law will allow offences to be enforceable by the Police.
The bill having now passed its final reading now has to be signed by the Governor-General in order for it to receive the Royal assent.
The act will then come into force 42 days after it receives the Royal assent.