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Just in time – new law calls time on wheel clampers

The 'stand and deliver' tactics of highwaymen clampers should be outlawed after the election, according to the AA. New legislation was enacted just before Parliament was dissolved and is now on the statute book.

The AA says that wheel clamping firms should start immediately to clean up their act. As soon as the next Government is elected the AA will be calling on the new Home Secretary to make regulations for the licensing of wheel clamping businesses.

Clauses in the new Act will:

  • extend wheel clamping licences to all clamping businesses
  • prescribe business operating standards, and
  • lead to the development of an independent appeals system

The AA has been campaigning for tougher regulation or the outright banning of wheel clamping, for many years and welcomes the legislation.

AA President, Edmund King said: "Too many clampers act like modern day highwaymen holding the public to ransom. If this new legislation does not work then the practice must be banned.

"The current licensing arrangements have let rogue clampers operate with impunity. Many demand extortionate sums for clamp release, hold people and their cars to ransom, plant decoy vehicles to trap drivers, prey on vulnerable drivers, deliberately hide signs and refuse legitimate appeals against clamping errors."

According to a Populus poll of 100 MPs for the AA 86% of MPs in the last Parliament thought wheel clamping on private land in England and Wales should either be outlawed or more tightly regulated.

The AA has a file of cases highlighting the gross excesses of some clampers which range from a female teenage driver left alone in Birmingham at night when her car was clamped then towed to a female driver who was charged £527 in Enfield.

The AA still wants to hear clamping horror stories at http://zone.theaa.com/forums/board/116/

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