Drivers who fail to pay fines will have cars towed

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The Independent Online

Motorists who fail to pay three parking tickets face having their cars clamped or even towed away under new laws due to take effect in two months.

Council-employed traffic wardens will gain the power to take immediate action if they notice a car with three unpaid parking fines, even if the vehicle is parked legally at the time. The owner will only be able to reclaim the car once the fines have been paid.

Local authorities in London – where fine-dodging has become a severe problem – will be the first to receive the new powers, with councils across the country expected to seek similar rights in due course. Motorists who fail to pay fines for minor traffic offences will face similar action.

The Government is considering the creation of a national database of the worst offenders and heavier police involvement.

Edmund King, president of The AA, praised the new laws: "These measures will let those who laugh at the system know they cannot keep getting away with it."

But Barrie Segal of the website, which helps the public appeal against false parking tickets, said: "There is a danger cars will be towed away when appeals are pending."