Despite the Deregulation Act 2015 severely restricting the use of mobile video cameras to enforce parking restrictions, they are still being used to penalise moving traffic offences. Croydon Council has been making lots of money from their use in a spy car to police a width restriction in Waddon Way. It issued 765 Penalty Charge Notices (PCN) between June and September 2015 for “failing to give way” (offence code 37J) at that location.
Waddon Way is a short cut used by a lot of traffic and an artificial width restriction with “one way working” was introduced by the Council. As in many other locations where such measures have been installed, this resulted in numerous accidents and confrontations – indeed some councils have subsequently removed them. But Croydon Council, now controlled by the Labour Party, would prefer to make money from it instead.
We have opposed the use of these traffic calming arrangements and using mobile camera cars to enforce them is exceedingly dubious. Unless there is an actual accident, it is debateable that an offence has been committed in many cases. But the usual principle of camera operators is to issue a PCN regardless and force the recipient to contest it, i.e. you are assumed to be guilty until you prove yourself to be innocent, which is an inversion of real justice. And surely using cameras to police moving traffic offences should also be banned.