The AA has welcomed the publication of the new law controlling the behaviour of private clampers.
“The law contains exactly the provisions that we had asked for.” Says Director of Consumer Affairs Conor Faughnan. “This is what we recommended to the Oireachtas Transport Committee when we spoke to them about clamping two years ago.”
The new laws will properly regulate the behaviour of private clampers for the first time. It will apply proper rules and a proper appeals process along with capping the fee at a maximum of €100.
The AA surveyed 19,000 Irish motorists on this issue in February 2012. Those findings showed that 6.8% of drivers had been clamped in the previous year. Two thirds of them felt they were clamped unfairly, and the AA received hundreds of comments and anecdotes about their experience.
“There is a big difference between being clamped by a local authority and being clamped on private land.” Says Faughnan. “In one case there are by-laws and elected councillors, but on private land there was no law of any sort governing the area.”
The AA states that Irish clamping companies were by-and-large acting responsibly. At no stage did the AA find evidence in Ireland of the sort of appalling behaviour on the part of clampers that had occurred in Britain.
“The Irish clamping companies were effectively self-regulating, and while they were doing so in good faith they were doing so in a legal vacuum. The new law is necessary and welcome.”