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Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford has released an easy-to-understand eight-point plan in a bid to help the new Consumer Affairs Minister regulate wheel clampers.
“Simon Bridges’ proposed code of conduct has been criticised as being ineffectual by the AA and the Consumer Institute,” Phil Twyford said.
“No one, except Simon Bridges and the wheel clampers, thinks a voluntary code of conduct will work.
“A good manners guide to dealing with the problem isn’t the way to go.
“It is obvious that these cowboys have been charging outrageous fees, and using stand-over tactics to extort money out of motorists.
“Media reports indicate the clampers are especially active in the poorer parts of town, targeting people who can least afford their extortionate fees.
“Motorists want clear rules and some accountability,” Phil Twyford said.
“Because the Government only seems to understand lists, I have produced this eight-point plan which could be the basis of new regulation to protect motorists from unscrupulous wheel clampers.”
1. Limit fines to $50 per infringement.
2. Strict requirements on clear signage.
3. No towing of clamped cars (currently you can be fined up to $400 to get your car back).
4. Vehicles must be released immediately on payment.
5. All clamping staff must wear photo ID.
6. Only one clamping staff member present to clamp or release in order to reduce instances of intimidation (as per tow trucks).
7. All clamping company Directors and Shareholders must be licensed and subject to police checks (tow truck operators have this now).
8. Penalties: Staff $5,000 fine per breach; Company $20,000 per breach; Director /Manager/Shareholder fine $20,000 per breach.
Mr Twyford said he supported the AA’s call for current regulations in the Transport Act covering Council car parks to be updated to cover wheel clamping, and then extend those regulations to private car parks.