Drivers who park badly to get 'friendly warning cards' instead of fines

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Nottinghamshire councillor Stephen Poole with one of the 'friendly warning' cards to be used in the county (SWNS)

Motorists who park their cars badly are set to be given 'friendly warnings' rather than fines under a new council scheme.

Traffic wardens who spot 'thoughtlessly' parked cars blocking pavements, bus stops and narrow roads will send motorists postcards asking them to be more considerate.

The yellow notices are being dished out to hundreds of motorists in a pilot scheme across Nottinghamshire as an alternative to heavy handed fines.

The 'Inconsiderate Parking' cards are placed on cars that are left in a thoughtless position, rather than a dangerous one.

Drivers caught for a second time will be fined after the initial 'friendly' warning.

Cards will be placed on drivers' windscreens when they block or impede pavements, dropped kerbs, bus stops, junctions, narrow roads, school entrances, cycle paths and accesses.

Nottinghamshire County Council has introduced the scheme - which is the first in the country.

County Councillor Stephen Poole, who was involved in the scheme, said: 'I would like to see the cards used more because they are an informal way of informing people they have caused a problem without having to prosecute them.

'The idea was about making it less of a severe fine, but a notice – and it seems to be working.'

Peter Goode, County Council Traffic Manager, added: 'The postcards are another tool for tackling problem parking, filling the gap in situations where no specific parking prohibition is in force.

'Parking on a footway near a junction is one example of where one might be given.

'We are using them countywide to educate motorists about good parking practice in line with the Highway Code.

'This is in addition to issuing penalty charge notices where contraventions of an enforceable restriction are identified by enforcement officers.

'You can understand why some parents might feel forced into parking somewhere they shouldn't, and most will learn not to after being told it will cost them next time.'

The scheme was backed by drivers' groups.

Roger Lawson, a spokesman for the Alliance of British Drivers, said: 'I think it's a good idea.

'In many councils, fines are handed out too quickly.

'We are all in favour of a flexible approach.

'It will help determine the one-offs from the regular infringers.

'The purpose of the parking regulations is to make sure people do the right thing.

'Some councils were intending on penalising people if they were just 18 inches away from the kerb.
'That is a good example when a warning might be a better idea.'

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