Spoiler Alert: it’s not as dirty as it sounds. In London, private parking lot security company Parking Eye has come under fire for issuing non-criminal parking tickets to motorists who have overstayed there welcome. While such conduct is usually simply operating procedure, Parking Eye has faced a torrent of criticism because they give no public indication that the lots are under a time restriction – or that they’re being monitored. According to the Daily Express, Londoner Emma Faulkner was downright outraged when she received her ticket from Private Eye in the mail.
Apparently, while making a late-night trip from London to Presten, Lancaster, Emma found herself nodding off behind the wheel. Hoping to catch a quick nap and prevent a fatal disaster, Emma pulled into a nearby parking lot and caught a few hours sleep. About a week later, she received a $100 ticket in the mail for overstaying the 2-hour parking limit. “I didn’t see any sign saying only two hours,” explained Emma, “I’m genuinely horrified. They are always on about safe driving and having a break if you are feeling tired. They surely can’t expect you to book into a hotel room for four-and-a-half hours?” Apparently, they do, and if you can’t afford one, you better be prepared for a ticket. Fortunately, Private Eye and many other private security firms like it are dispensing their own brand of justice, which doesn’t hold the same weight as official government regulations. Motorist rights protection group roadsidelawyer.com stresses this to its members, warning that any document demanding the payment of fees is not legally binding unless issued by the government. The private companies are aware of this too, and threaten civil action if the balance is not paid in full. Dismissive of the bullying tactics, a spokesperson from roadsidelawyer.com explained, “The standard procedure is for them to huff and puff a lot and churn out an endless stream of letters talking of imminent legal proceedings. The reality is that letters are cheap and taking you to court?is expensive.”