We’ve all been there – following the rules and observing the law, only to be caught by an official with different ideas.
Councils and police officers have specific powers they can use to enforce the law, but you might need to be made aware of what they can do and how you can appeal against these fines and penalties if you think they are unfair or incorrect.
Read on to discover more about the council and police fines so that you know how to avoid them, deal with them when they come up, and in extreme cases, how to appeal against them successfully.
Council fines are fines handed out by a local authority to residents of the council’s jurisdiction or those driven there.
The most popular kind of council fine is a Penalty Charge Notice, given to drivers who park illegally on public property and violate bus lanes (PCN). You can also be the recipient of a council fine for littering.
Any fines imposed by a police officer or a police agency are considered police fines. Police may issue a penalty punishment for your actions in public. However, most police fines are issued to drivers who break the law on the road, including speeding.
A Fixed Penalty Notice is the official name of these fines.
Determine the Type of Fine You Have
Identify the type of fine you received from the list below. Then, please find out more about your options for handling them.
Bus Lane Fine
Fines for driving or parking in a bus lane or bus gate without permission is known as bus lane fines.
You typically receive the bus lane fine in the mail if the bus lane violation was caught on camera.
If you never realized you had improperly used a bus lane or were unaware that bus lane fines existed, this can be quite a shock.
Why was a bus lane fine issued to me?
If you are the registered keeper of a car observed improperly using a bus lane, you will be given a bus lane fine.
The registered keeper receives the bus lane fine since the DVLA makes it easy to find their address and because it is the vehicle owner who must pay the fine.
Even if you weren’t driving at the time, you would still be the one to receive the bus lane fine, and regrettably, it is typically your responsibility to pay it.
Who is in charge of issuing bus lane fines?
Most local governments are responsible for issuing bus lane fines, and you are not required to reside within the council’s jurisdiction to obtain one. They can locate you and send the fine to any address in the UK.
They may also levy fines for bus lane infractions on the “red routes”—the London roadways that Transport for London (TfL) oversees. The red routes, which make up about 5% of all the roadways in London, often experience heavy traffic.
Council Parking Fines
If you park on public property without a permit or fail to pay for parking when you should, you risk receiving a municipal parking fee.
In addition, you will be issued a Penalty Charge Notice for these parking infractions.
It’s possible that a parking fine notice will be placed on your car for pickup later. An employee of the council known as a Civil Enforcement Officer does this (CEO).
Alternatively, the penalty charge could be mailed to the owner of the registered car. The home address of the registered keeper can be obtained from the council by contacting the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).
When the claimed parking infraction was captured on a council CCTV camera or the driver acted violently, and the CEO couldn’t issue them the Penalty Charge Notice, it was more likely to be mailed.
You might get a PCN for a variety of reasons, such as,
- Parking on the double yellow lines
- Parking when it’s not permitted on single yellow lines
- Using alternate unlawful parking methods and disobeying parking restrictions
- Parking in local council lots without paying
- Staying too long in local council parking lots
Fixed Penalty Notice
As a mechanism for the police and council parking wardens to issue parking citations, fixed penalty notices were initially established. But over the years, their use has considerably grown, and they can now be issued for various offences.
They are now primarily used to fine people for driving, anti-social behaviour, and environmental offences.
But what distinguishes a fixed penalty notice from a fine?
The distinction between a fine and a fixed penalty notice is that a fine is an offer subject to payment or appeal. It is an “offer” to pay the amount demanded to stop the planned prosecution.
Although there is a slight distinction between the two, most people still refer to a Fixed Penalty Notice as a fine.
Speeding Fixed Penalty Notice
Have you already received a fixed penalty notice for speeding, or are you anticipating receiving one?
In the UK, thousands of people get ticketed for speeding every day, but not everyone knows how to handle these fines.
They are provided to the alleged offender by local police forces. Before the Predetermined Penalty Notice for speeding, there is a fixed process.
The speeding offence is typically captured on specialized cameras or by police camera vans parked along the road. The registered vehicle keeper is notified within 14 days of the intent to prosecute.
Vehicle owners can now inform the authorities that they were not driving at the time of the speeding violation. The process includes returning a form to the police within 28 days.
As soon as the police receive this form, they will issue the speeding offender a Fixed Penalty Notice.
However, a police officer may elect to issue you a verbal Notice of Intended Prosecution instead of pulling you over. As a result, you won’t first receive a paper NIP before getting the speeding fixed penalty notice.
Is it against the law to litter in the UK? You ask.
According to the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, it is true that littering is prohibited in the UK. Nevertheless, according to Keep Britain Tidy, more than two million pieces of rubbish are left on UK streets daily, costing the taxpayers more than £1 billion annually to clear them.
The problem can be addressed in part by fining people who litter.
What, though, is a fine for littering? A person accused of littering in a public area will receive a littering fine.
You may receive a fine for trash from the police or your neighbourhood council. In actuality, any environmental offence is punishable by a fee.
Littering can include, but is not limited to:
- Dumping empty cartons and wrappers
- Throwing away food scraps or chewing gum
- Not removing your dog’s waste
- Unauthorised spray painting and graffiti
- Placing advertisements without authorization (known as fly-posting)
Penalty Charge Notice
Fines known as the local municipality typically hand out penalty charge notices. They can be given to drivers for various reasons, but they are frequently served for parking and bus lane infractions.
For example, failing to pay a surcharge for operating a non-electric car in a city area could result in you receiving a Penalty Charge Notice for failing to pay a road toll by the due date.
The Bottom Line
Don’t pay your fine just yet; learn how to handle them first. We hope this article has provided helpful information on the typical city and police fines.