Parking violation

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Parking tickets on a vehicle in Durham, North Carolina 2009-02-26 Red Hummer with parking citation.jpg
Parking tickets on a vehicle in Durham, North Carolina
Parking violation in Geneva, Switzerland Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 LB834.jpg
Parking violation in Geneva, Switzerland

A parking violation is the act of parking a motor vehicle in a restricted place or for parking in an unauthorized manner. It is against the law virtually everywhere to park a vehicle in the middle of a highway or road; parking on one or both sides of a road, however, is commonly permitted. However, restrictions apply to such parking, and may result in an offense being committed. Such offenses are usually cited by a police officer or other government official in the form of a traffic ticket.



Vehicles may be wheel clamped for parking violations, such as this one in Melbourne, as a penalty or to enforce payment of fines Wheel clamped BMW5Series Combo, Little Collins St, Melb, 19.10.2011, jjron.jpg
Vehicles may be wheel clamped for parking violations, such as this one in Melbourne, as a penalty or to enforce payment of fines
Four parking attendant vehicles and a street cleaning vehicle in San Francisco Street cleaner and four parking attendant vehicles in San Francisco.jpg
Four parking attendant vehicles and a street cleaning vehicle in San Francisco

Parking violations include, but are not limited to:

Fines or parking citations may result if any of the above criteria are met.

United States

Unpaid parking violations per diplomat in New York City by country of origin, 1997-2002. Unpaid parking violations per diplomat in New York City by country of origin, 1997-2002, OWID.svg
Unpaid parking violations per diplomat in New York City by country of origin, 1997-2002.

In 1926, American merchants listed downtown traffic congestion as their most serious difficulty. Unenforced curbside parking and lack of off-street parking facilities were listed as the primary problems. Customers went where they could park.

During the Great Depression, city revenues dwindled. With parking meters, however, a new source of municipal revenue was found. Not only did the nickels paid in by parkers accumulate, but so did the fines imposed for over parking. By 1944, American cities were generating some $10 million annually from parking meters alone. Soon after came meter maids, who, because they were paid less than police officers, increased city revenues further. Complex parking rules, restrictions and regulations are now an integral part of modern life and landscape.

Typically, a ticket is placed on a vehicle when the owner or driver is not present. There is no place for a signature, and in California, the registered owner cannot be charged with a misdemeanor or other criminal offense for ignoring a ticket. A letter will usually be sent prior to any punitive action. Most jurisdictions, however, will have sanctions such as refusal to allow renewal of license plates if the owner of the vehicle has unpaid parking tickets. In some jurisdictions, such as New York City, a vehicle may be towed if it has overdue parking fines exceeding a specified balance and subjected to impounded vehicle auction if unredeemed. In many jurisdictions, such as Boston, vehicles with numerous outstanding parking citations are subject to booting.


Car being towed in Ireland Promoting sensible parking.jpg
Car being towed in Ireland
No parking Sweden road sign C35.svg
No parking
No stopping Sweden road sign C39.svg
No stopping
2135 photos of illegal parking received by the Portuguese civil organization Passeio Livre (Free sidewalk) published on their 5th anniversary

In Europe, parking tickets are also heavily used. In Sweden, parking violations on street are considered traffic crimes with a fine. If the fine is not objected to or paid within a specified time, the Swedish Enforcement Administration will claim money from bank accounts or other assets, relatively fast. The owner will be noted as a bad payer, and will not get a loan or a new rental apartment etc. for three years.[ citation needed ] A parking violation in a parking place (not on the street) is considered a break of contract which results in a penalty fee with different rules. According to statistics from Stockholm the cars with the highest number of parking violations (weighted for number of cars) are Jeep, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Lexus. Mercedes owners were the worst for parking in disabled spaces. Professor Gunnar Aronsson at the department for psychology at Stockholm university believes this is due to the owners being well-off and thinking that their time is more important. [2] [3] According to Jan Prestberg at the traffic office in Stockholm, the fines are low enough to be ignored by richer people. [4] It is often hard to find parking spots in big cities. After wheel-locks were introduced in London, the prices for rented parking spaces went up considerably.

Foreign-registered vehicles in Europe in reality cannot be fined. This is partly because it is too much work to find the owner in a foreign country, but mainly because it is not legally possible to claim money from a foreign resident person if they don't pay voluntarily.[ citation needed ] The European Union is introducing legislation into all member countries to collect fines across borders. In some cities, like London, this has been solved by locking one wheel of an unlawfully parked vehicle. The driver has to pay to be able to drive the vehicle.

New Zealand

In New Zealand, parking fines are mostly issued by council parking officers, but can also be issued by police officers. Parking tickets are mostly attached to an unattended vehicle, or they can be posted to the address of the registered owner. Usually, the most common parking fines issued are those for parking over the time limit.


Parking fines were introduced in the 1950s in New South Wales, Australia. At that time, council rangers only worked in council car parks and parking fines on the streets, mainly in Sydney were issued by the NSW Parking Police. These were employees of the New South Wales Police Force. Up until about 1995, these fines were issued and processed by the NSW Police and the fines were processed by the traffic penalties section of the police. This section was mostly staffed by clerical staff employed by the police. However they were not members of the police force. If fines were unpaid, the courts could decide on a penalty, and if then unpaid, a warrant would be made out and a person could spend time in jail to cover the amount of the fine. Now the system is different with the State Debt Recovery Office handling the fines.

Ancient Assyria

Possibly the first parking restrictions were put in place in Nineveh, the capital of ancient Assyria in c.700 BC. The restrictions were made by their king Sennacherib (704 to 681 BC) and pertained to the sacred main processional way through Nineveh. The oldest parking signs ever discovered read "Royal Road – let no man decrease it". The penalty for parking a chariot on this road was death followed by impaling outside one's own home. [5] [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

Parking meter device

A parking meter is a device used to collect money in exchange for the right to park a vehicle in a particular place for a limited amount of time. Parking meters can be used by municipalities as a tool for enforcing their integrated on-street parking policy, usually related to their traffic and mobility management policies, but are also used for revenue.

Parking act of stopping and disengaging a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied

Parking is the act of stopping and disengaging a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied. Parking on one or both sides of a road is often permitted, though sometimes with restrictions. Some buildings have parking facilities for use of the buildings' users. Countries and local governments have rules for design and use of parking spaces.

Parking lot Cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles

A parking lot or car park, also known as a car lot, is a cleared area that is intended for parking vehicles. Usually, the term refers to a dedicated area that has been provided with a durable or semi-durable surface. In most countries where cars are the dominant mode of transportation, parking lots are a feature of every city and suburban area. Shopping malls, sports stadiums, megachurches and similar venues often feature parking lots of immense area. See also multistorey car park.

Wheel clamp

A wheel clamp, also known as wheel boot, parking boot, or Denver boot, is a device that is designed to prevent motor vehicles from being moved. In its most common form, it consists of a clamp that surrounds a vehicle wheel, designed to prevent removal of both itself and the wheel.

Traffic ticket punishment

A traffic ticket is a notice issued by a law enforcement official to a motorist or other road user, indicating that the user has violated traffic laws. Traffic tickets generally come in two forms, citing a moving violation, such as exceeding the speed limit, or a non-moving violation, such as a parking violation, with the ticket also being referred to as a parking citation, or parking ticket.

Red light camera type of traffic enforcement camera

A red light camera is a type of traffic enforcement camera that captures image of vehicle that has entered an intersection in spite of the traffic signal indicating red. By automatically photographing vehicles that run red lights, the photo is evidence that assists authorities in their enforcement of traffic laws. Generally the camera is triggered when a vehicle enters the intersection after the traffic signal has turned red.

Parking enforcement officer official who issues parking tickets

A parking enforcement officer (PEO), traffic warden, parking inspector/parking officer, or civil enforcement officer is a member of a traffic control department or agency who issues tickets for parking violations. The term parking attendant is sometimes considered a synonym but sometimes used to refer to the different profession of parking lot attendant.

A civil penalty or civil fine is a financial penalty imposed by a government agency as restitution for wrongdoing. The wrongdoing is typically defined by a codification of legislation, regulations, and decrees. The civil fine is not considered to be a criminal punishment, because it is primarily sought in order to compensate the state for harm done to it, rather than to punish the wrongful conduct. As such, a civil penalty, in itself, will not carry jail time or other legal penalties. For example, if a person were to dump toxic waste in a state park, the state would have the same right to seek to recover the cost of cleaning up the mess as would a private landowner, and to bring the complaint to a court of law, if necessary.

Fixed penalty notices (FPNs) were introduced in Britain in the 1950s to deal with minor parking offences. Originally used by police and traffic wardens, their use has extended to other public officials and authorities, as has the range of offences for which they can be used.

Many countries have adopted a penalty point or demerit point system under which a person’s driving license is cancelled or suspended based on the number of points accumulated by them over a period of time because of the traffic offences or infringements committed by them in that period. The demerit points schemes of each jurisdiction varies. These demerit schemes are usually in addition to fines or other penalties which may be imposed for a particular offence or infringement, or after a prescribed number of points have been accumulated.

Decriminalised parking enforcement

Decriminalised parking enforcement (DPE) is the name given in the United Kingdom to the civil enforcement of car parking regulations, carried out by civil enforcement officers, operating on behalf of a local authority. The Road Traffic Act 1991 provided for the decriminalisation of parking-related contraventions committed within controlled parking zones (CPZ) administered by local councils across the UK. The CPZs under the control of the local councils are also referred to as yellow routes and they can be easily identified with yellow lines marked on the roads with relevant time plates. Councils employ parking attendants to enforce their CPZs directly.

In United States law, reckless driving is a major moving traffic violation that generally consists in driving a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property. It is usually a more serious offense than careless driving, improper driving, or driving without due care and attention and is often punishable by fines, imprisonment, or driver's license suspension or revocation. This term is specific to the law of the United States. Outside of the United States, reckless driving if committed in other countries would be termed as dangerous driving.

Disabled parking permit sign that is displayed upon parking a vehicle permitting the operator of a vehicle to special privileges regarding the parking of that vehicle

A disabled parking permit, also known as a disabled badge, disabled placard, handicapped permit, handicapped placard, handicapped tag, and "Blue Badge" in the European Union, is displayed upon parking a vehicle permitting the operator of a vehicle to special privileges regarding the parking of that vehicle. These privileges include parking in a space reserved for persons with disabilities, or in some situations, permission to park in a time-limited space for a longer time, or to park at a meter without payment.

Seat belt laws in the United States

Most seat belt laws in the United States are left to the states and territories. However, the first seat belt law was a federal law, Title 49 of the United States Code, Chapter 301, Motor Safety Standard, which took effect on January 1, 1968, that required all vehicles to be fitted with seat belts in all designated seating positions. This law has since been modified to require three-point seat belts in outboard-seating positions, and finally three-point seat belts in all seating positions. Initially, seat belt use was voluntary. New York was the first state to pass a law which required vehicle occupants to wear seat belts, a law that came into effect on December 1, 1984. New Hampshire is the only state that has no enforceable laws for the wearing of seat belts in a vehicle.

A civil enforcement officer is a person employed to enforce parking, traffic and other restrictions and laws in England & Wales. In England, they are employed by county councils, London Borough Councils, metropolitan district councils or Transport for London, and in Wales by county (borough) councils - or private companies contracted by any of the above. Until the passage of the Traffic Management Act 2004, on-street parking and traffic movement violations were enforced by non-warranted police traffic wardens employed by constabularies. Off-street parking violations were enforced by parking attendants employed by local authorities and private companies.

The Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) is an agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that manages many parking operations for Philadelphia. The PPA was created by the Philadelphia City Council on January 11, 1950 for the purpose of conducting research for management of off-street parking and to establish a permanent, coordinated system of parking facilities in the city. Since then, the PPA's scope has expanded to include parking operations at the Philadelphia International Airport, most street-parking policy enforcement, and regulation and enforcement of taxicabs and limousines.

These road signs are used in Germany.

Car costs

The car internal costs are all the costs consumers pay to own and operate a car. Normally these expenditures are divided by fixed or standing costs and variable or running costs. Fixed costs are those ones which do not depend on the distance traveled by the vehicle and which the owner must pay to keep the vehicle ready for use on the road, like insurance or road taxes. Variable or running costs are those that depend on the use of the car, like fuel or tolls.

Two-wheeler usage in Japan

Two-wheelers are a common sight and widely used in Japan. Of these, bicycles and scooters are the most common.

Traffic Electronic Control System (Turkey) Turkish vehicle camera and plate recognition system

Traffic Electronic Control System, locally known as TEDES, an acronym for "Trafik Elektronik DEnetleme Sistemi", is a monitoring and imaging system for traffic law enforcement used on some streets and highways in Turkey to ensure road safety.


  1. "Unpaid parking violations per diplomat in New York City by country of origin, 1997-2002". Our World in Data. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  2. "Porscheägare i topp bland felparkerare". Archived from the original on 1 February 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  3. "Nyheterna -" . Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  4. Olsson, Tobias. "Bilarna som felparkerar oftast" . Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  5. L. Sprague de Camp, Ancient Engineers, p 71, Tandem Publishing 1977 ISBN   0-426-18120-4.
  6. Joseph C. Ingraham, Modern traffic control, p18, Funk & Wagnalls, 1954.