06/06/2011

The problem with this is the jobsworth syndrome

Dorset County Council will take up new enforcement powers under the Traffic Management Act 2004 from tomorrow (Wednesday 1 June 2011).

The new powers relate to three areas of parking enforcement:

1. Service of penalty charge notices by post:

The legislation now allows penalty charge notices (PCNs) to be sent by post.  This could be done if:

  • The civil enforcement officer (CEO) has started to issue a PCN and the driver of the vehicle returns and drives away before the CEO can attach the notice to the windscreen
OK, somebody's got to do this otherwise the roads will be choked so I don't have a problem with the principle of devolving it down to the Council and driving away shouldn't allow someone to avoid a penalty.
  • Or if the CEO is prevented from issuing the PCN due to the threat of physical violence and/or extreme verbal abuse
And this is a criminal offence, so stuff the penalty charge and bring them to court. The Magistrate/Judge can deal with the parking infringement at the same time.

But this:
2. Double parking or parking more than 50cm from the kerb:

The new powers mean that CEOs will be able to deal with inconsiderate parking causing congestion and road safety problems.

and this:

3. Parking at Dropped Kerbs:

New powers of enforcement will help deal with inconsiderate and selfish parking at pedestrian dropped kerbs and dropped kerbs outside someone’s property.

Is where I have a problem. Not that double parking and parking by dropped kerbs isn't a problem, no its the "inconsiderate" bit. It like one of those irregular verbs: my parking is OK, your parking is a bit dodgy, his parking is downright inconsiderate.

And who do we ask to be the arbiter of what is inconsiderate? Yes, some local council employee, for that is what they are no matter what the title, and in this country local council employees have a deserved reputation for being "jobs-worth's".

A low ranking official who follows their instructions and procedure to the letter. Often just to piss you off and to make them feel important. 

Most people will be pissed off but accept it if the police pick them up for bad parking, but will be outraged if it is some local council employee making what they believe to be an arbitrary and even capricious decision about whether of not their parking is inconsiderate.

I'll be watching out for more cases of CEOs being verbally assaulted.





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