New clamping regulations come into effect

Under the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015, a maximum clamp fee is to be set

The Vehicle Clamping Act 2015 comes into effect from June 1st.

Under the Act, a maximum clamp fee is to be set and a statutory complaints and appeals procedure established. This two-tier appeals process will hear appeals from drivers who have had their cars clamped or vehicles removed.

It also provides for provision of appropriate signage in places where clamping is operated, as well as the establishment of a code of practice.

The Act will also provide for the necessary enforcement and investigate powers needed to investigate and prosecute any alleged breaches of regulations by clampers.

A period of consultation will ensue, before the National Transport Authority (NTA) considers submissions on the legislation. The body will then assume all its new responsibilities from October 1st.

The Department of Transport said it was not possible to commence the Act until now as additional resources were required by the National Transport Authority to allow it assume its new role.

In addition, a drafting issue in the original Act in relation to the consultation process also required amendment prior to commencement. That amendment was introduced via the Road Traffic Act 2016 which was itself commenced in April 2017 and thus allowed for the commencement of the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015.

In a statement, Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: "I am delighted to be able to commence the Vehicle Clamping Act 2015".

"The Act will benefit people through providing a robust regulatory framework for vehicle clamping and importantly will also allow for the establishment of statutory complaints and appeals procedures."

A long road

Regulation of the industry was first proposed by Fine Gael in 2010.

The party’s then-spokesperson on Transport Simon Coveney launched the Vehicle Immobilisation Regulation Bill to regulate clampers.

Image: Photocall Ireland