Op Parksafe

Date published: 10 June 2022 14:36

When we surveyed our communities in 2021-2 antisocial and illegal parking was voted as your third highest priority.  This scored above Drug Dealing, antisocial behaviour and lots of other types of issue that we usually get complaints about.

As a response to this issue, we have looked to how other forces have dealt with the issue and introduced Operation Park Safe, which was pioneered in the West Midlands area.

The idea behind the operation is to allow members of the public to provide the police with evidence of offences, by providing us with photographic evidence, which we will then use to prosecute offenders.  The simple reason we do this is because we cannot be everywhere at once.  Often people provide us with photographs of a dangerously parked vehicle, but by the time we get there it is too late, and the car has moved on.  This is especially the case where we are on foot patrol, and miles away from the vehicle in question.  This solution allows us to act on the photographs submitted by the public.

Op Parksafe Sheffield North West trial

A guide to offences that will be dealt with by council and which you can report to police.

The police can not be everywhere.  This initiative relies on the help of active citizens to help enforce the law and make the roads safer.

What we are asking of our citizens:

  • You will need to provide a written statement about the offence including the date and time it happened, this can be completed electronically.
  • You will need to provide us with your name, address, date of birth and contact details
  • You may be required to attend court if the matter is contested.
  • Do NOT challenge the driver or get involved in confrontation.
  • Do NOT put yourself at risk to obtain a photograph.

What we will do:

  • We will deal with the person responsible and issue fines or educational courses depending on the offence committed.

The trial for this operation will only occur to offences that take place in the North West area of Sheffield, as parking was voted as the third highest priority for our area.  Maps of our area are at the bottom of the document.  We cannot deal with offences that occur in the city’s other neighbourhood areas, but if you are interested in them joining the trial you can get in touch with them.

The other areas of Sheffield are Central, North East, South East and South West.

I have reproduced material from the Highway code in the drafting of this document, but it is always best to check the code online as it does change periodically.  The majority of offences in this document appear in the following section:

https://www.highwaycodeuk.co.uk/parking.html

Offences that police cannot deal with

Double Yellow lines and single yellow lines including no waiting and no loading restrictions are decriminalised and can only be prosecuted by council parking enforcement officers.

Double Yellow lines and single yellow lines including no waiting and no loading restrictions are decriminalised and can only be prosecuted by council parking enforcement officers.

Wheels up parking - parking partially on the pavement is only illegal in London.  If the vehicle does not obstruct the pavement to the extent that wheelchair users, or a double push chair can pass

Wheels up parking - parking partially on the pavement is only illegal in London. If the vehicle does not obstruct the pavement to the extent that wheelchair users, or a double push chair can pass

Pavement parking

Pavement parking is only illegal in the London area.  See rule 244 of the highway code.

244
You MUST NOT park partially or wholly on the pavement in London, and should not do so elsewhere unless signs permit it. Parking on the pavement can obstruct and seriously inconvenience pedestrians, people in wheelchairs or with visual impairments and people with prams or pushchairs.
Law GL(GP)A sect 15

Although there may be other, moving traffic offences, the moving traffic offence itself would need to be captured.  There is, for example, an offence of driving on the pavement.  To prosecute this offence, video footage would be preferred rather than still photography.  You can upload videos of moving traffic offences to the Nextbase portal.

https://nextbase.co.uk/national-dash-cam-safety-portal/

The relevant offence is s34 of the Road Traffic act:

We will prosecute offences where by parking on the pavement the driver has caused unnecessary obstruction, or if they have left their vehicle in a dangerous position.  See further below this document in the section marked Unnecessary/Wilful Obstruction of the highway.

Vehicles parked at or on a crossing

  • Rule 191 You MUST NOT park on a crossing or in the area covered by the zig-zag lines
  • Rule 241 You MUST not stop on a pedestrian crossing, including the area marked by the zig-zag lines.
  • Rule 242 “You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.”
  • Offence code: Leave a motor vehicle in dangerous position RT88171
  • Stopping on a zebra/pelican/puffin controlled area ZP97003
  • Take a photograph to evidence, making sure that the crossing lines can be seen as well as the registration mark of the vehicle.
  • This can be a photograph obtained from a still (e.g. dash cam or helmet cam), but anyone submitting must make sure that they do not commit an offence themselves. (For example, a mobile phone being used by a driver to take a picture is a more serious offence).
  • If the vehicle is parked next to the zig zags, rather than on them, this can still amount to a dangerous position offence, because of the way that the vehicle blocks visibility of vulnerable people from drivers travelling along the road – for example wheelchair users or children waiting at the crossing (see above).
  • The punishment for this offence by way of a fixed penalty notice is 3 points endorsement and a £100 fine.
  • A notice of intended prosecution letter needs to be sent to the keeper within 14 days of the offences so it is vital that photos and a statement are provided as soon as possible.

Vehicles parked in a dangerous position - next to White lines/ on bends/ blind summits/

The white line system is here because this is a national speed limit road and there is a blind dip.  The keeper of this vehicle declined to provide driver details, and was found guilty at court and fined £585 receiving six points endorsement on his driving licence. s on

The white line system is here because this is a national speed limit road and there is a blind dip. The keeper of this vehicle declined to provide driver details, and was found guilty at court and fined £585 receiving six points endorsement on his driving licence. s on

Parking a vehicle on a road where there are double white lines is an offence.  It is also an offence on the pavement next to the double white lines, and the edge of the road.

Parking a vehicle on a road where there are double white lines is an offence. It is also an offence on the pavement next to the double white lines, and the edge of the road.

  • Rule 240 “You MUST NOT stop or park on a road marked with double white lines, even when a broken white line is on your side of the road, except to pick up or set down passengers, or to load or unload goods”.
  • Rule 242 “You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.”
  • Rule 243 DO NOT stop or park near the brow of a hill (example above) OR on a bend
  • Offence code: Leave a motor vehicle in dangerous position RT88171
  • Take a photograph to evidence, making sure that the central unbroken white line is visible
  • “Double white lines” includes both unbroken double white lines and a single white line with one side marked with broken white lines (as above). It is illegal to park on a road adjacent to either of these.
  • This includes parking on the pavement or verge, as these form part of the legal definition of a “road”. As such liability can not be avoided by parking on the pavement or verge next to the double white lines system.
  • This can be a photograph obtained from a still (e.g. dash cam or helmet cam), but anyone submitting must make sure that they do not commit an offence themselves. (For example, a mobile phone being used by a driver to take a picture is a more serious offence).
  • The punishment for this offence is by way of a fixed penalty notice 3 points endorsement and a £100 fine.
  • A notice of intended prosecution letter needs to be sent to the keeper within 14 days of the offences so it is vital that photos and a statement are provided as soon as possible.

Vehicles left in a dangerous position – forcing pedestrians to walk in road

  • Rule 242 of the Highway code “You MUST NOT” leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road”.
  • Offence code: Leave a motor vehicle in dangerous position RT88171
  • Take a photograph to evidence the extent that the footpath is obstructed
  • If people are having to walk in the road to get past, document this with a photograph /video for best evidence or describe the nature of the obstruction in statement form if not possible.
  • This offence can be a photograph obtained from a still (e.g. dash cam or helmet cam), but anyone submitting must make sure that they do not commit an offence themselves. (For example, a mobile phone being used by a driver to take a picture is a more serious offence).
  • Best evidence, will, as above, clearly show that it is not practical to pass the vehicle without walking in the road, causing danger to vulnerable road users.
  • The punishment for this offence is by way of a fixed penalty notice 3 points endorsement and a £100 fine.
  • A notice of intended prosecution letter needs to be sent to the keeper within 14 days of the offences so it is vital that photos and a statement are provided as soon as possible.

Vehicles left in a dangerous position – parking at/on a junction

  • Rule 242 of the Highway code “You MUST NOT” leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road”.
  • Rule 243 of the highway code “DO NOT STOP or park opposite or within 10m (32 feet of a junction)
  • Offence code: Leave a motor vehicle in dangerous position RT88171
  • Take 2 photographs showing vehicle position in respect of the junction and how it restricts the view of those entering/exiting the junction.
  • Danger is caused by the parked vehicle blocking the view of drivers at a junction and vehicles having to “edge out” into live traffic.  This is especially dangerous for vulnerable road users such as cyclists or motorcyclists.
  • Parking in this way means that they also block the view of pedestrians crossing at junction.  For example, drivers approaching such a junction would be unable to see pedestrians, especially children, about to cross due to the presence of vehicles.
  • This type of vehicle also obstructs dropped kerbs (bobbled paving for sight impaired) making it extremely difficult to cross for the sight impaired, and wheelchair users/ pushchair users who have to go around the parked vehicle and negotiate a kerb.
  • The punishment for this offence is by way of a fixed penalty notice 3 points endorsement and a £100 fine.
  • A notice of intended prosecution letter needs to be sent to the keeper within 14 days of the offences so it is vital that photos and a statement are provided as soon as possible.

School parking offences

Vehicles parked on the zig zag lines when schoolchildren are leaving or entering school are endangering children - this offence is punished by a fixed penalty notice of £100 with 3 points endorsed on the licence

Vehicles parked on the zig zag lines when schoolchildren are leaving or entering school are endangering children - this offence is punished by a fixed penalty notice of £100 with 3 points endorsed on the licence

Blocking residential drive ways while waiting for children is unnecessary obstruction if it means that someone cannot leave/ enter their drive.  Photograph of obstruction and registration mark.

Blocking residential drive ways while waiting for children is unnecessary obstruction if it means that someone cannot leave/ enter their drive. Photograph of obstruction and registration mark.

  • Rule 242 of the Highway code “You MUST NOT” leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road”.
  • Rule 243 DO NOT stop or park near a school entrance ... except where forced to do so by stationary traffic.
  • Take a photograph showing the position of the vehicle, with registration mark and any yellow zig zags or KEEP CLEAR signs clearly visible.
  • If people park on these markings when children are entering or exiting the premises these will be prosecuted as “Leave vehicle in Dangerous Position”.
  • Blocking driveways of local residents can be dealt with as unnecessary obstruction where it prevents the residents from leaving or entering their driveway
  • Blocking drop kerbs near the school can also be dealt with as unnecessary obstruction

  • Offence code: Leave a motor vehicle in dangerous position RT88171 or unnecessary obstruction

  • For dangerous parking offences (parking on zig zags during school drop off or pick up time), a notice of intended prosecution letter needs to be sent to the keeper within 14 days of the offences so it is vital that photos and a statement are provided as soon as possible.
  • For obstruction offences, the 14 day time limit does not apply.

Parking on a Cycle Track

The above image shows the cycle track clearly marked, and the vehicles parked on the pavement in such a way as to make it unnavigable by bicycle.  The drop kerb for accessing the cycle track is also blocked.

The above image shows the cycle track clearly marked, and the vehicles parked on the pavement in such a way as to make it unnavigable by bicycle. The drop kerb for accessing the cycle track is also blocked.

  • Take a photograph showing the position of the vehicle, with registration mark clearly visible and cycle track marking also clear.
  • This is an offence according to s21 of the Road Traffic Act 1988
  • Rule 240 of the Highway code says “You MUST NOT stop or park on a cycle track”.
  • Rule 243 Do NOT stop or park where you would obstruct cyclists’ use of cycle facilities
  • The definition of cycle track is given in the Highways act 1980 as being a “Shared use path usable by cyclists and possibly also pedestrians but not motorised vehicles” https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1980/66/section/329 - this means that cycle tracks that are on the same part of the carriageway as motor vehicles are not covered by this offence.
  • The above means that shared use paths (pavements with shared use marking or where there is a clear cycling lane) have more protection from pavement parking than other pavements, as parking on a pavement is not, of itself an offence – see below. It is for this reason especially important that the fact that this particular pavement has been marked as a “cycle track” is evidenced in your photograph or statement or by reference to a local authority map of cycleways, for example.  You can see in the example above the signpost clearly marking this as a cycle track, and the paint on the pavement denoting the same.
  • Offence code RT88037 but may also be prosecuted as causing unnecessary obstruction as FPN offence
  • The penalty for unnecessary obstruction is a £30 fixed penalty notice.

Unnecessary/Wilful Obstruction of the Highway

The bike above isn't used for cycling along the footpath but to show that there isn't room to get a pushchair or wheelchair past this parked car.

The bike above isn't used for cycling along the footpath but to show that there isn't room to get a pushchair or wheelchair past this parked car.

As above, bike is used to show scale and that a wheelchair or double buggy would not be able to get past this vehicle.  Prosecuted for obstruction.

As above, bike is used to show scale and that a wheelchair or double buggy would not be able to get past this vehicle. Prosecuted for obstruction.

We will prosecute obstruction offences where it is not possible for a user of a wheelchair, pram or mobility carriage to navigate the pavement due to the vehicle leaving insufficient space.  This is covered under highway code rule 242

242
You MUST NOT leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road.
Laws RTA 1988, sect 22 & CUR reg 103

 

  • Take a photograph or produce a photographic still of the obstruction caused. 
  • This can be an obstruction of the road (making it impossible for vehicles to get past by double parking, for example, parking in such a way that a large vehicle such as a fire engine cannot pass the parked vehicle).
  • This may also be parking a vehicle over a drop kerb, where pedestrians have to make a detour to pass the vehicle. This offence is particularly impactive on the partially sighted and those with mobility issues.
  • This offence is punishable by a £30 fixed penalty notice. Repeat offenders may be summonsed to court where the penalty
  • Offence code - Obstruction wilful/unnecessary HY80020/RC86405

The test for obstruction that is most frequently cited is Nagy vs West (or Weston depending on source).  It was held that "the test of whether a particular use of a highway, by a vehicle, amounts to an obstruction is whether such use is unreasonable having regard to all the circumstances including its duration, position and purpose. Also, whether the unreasonable use caused an actual, as opposed to a potential, obstruction."

In other words, the evidence provided to the police must show that an actual obstruction of the highway took place.

You can report illegally parked vehicles by filling out this form or by scanning the QR code below.  Once the form is complete you will receive instructions on how to send us your evidence.

Please note that we can only deal with offences that occur in the North West Sheffield area.  Please see our map section to clarify if the offence was within the wards we cover.