Wheel clampers will not be able to target Christmas shoppers this festive season, with Western Australia’s ban on the predatory practice in effect from today.
The new laws make the use of wheel clamping as a private parking enforcement measure a $5,000 offence.
The ban was achieved through the Road Traffic Act Amendment (Immobilisation, Towing and Detention of Vehicles) Act 2020, passed by both houses of Parliament in November.
The new law and supporting regulations bring WA into line with other jurisdictions such as Queensland, Victoria, New South Wales and Northern Territory where wheel clamping – and other forms of vehicle immobilisation – have been outlawed
Owners and occupiers of private parking at businesses, local shops and residential stratas have a number of options available to control parking.
Parking rules can be enforced through infrastructure, ticketing, standardised signage and enforcement through local parking agreements with local governments. Towing of unauthorised vehicles will be used as a last resort.
The new law also regulates the circumstances around when a vehicle can be towed and the costs of retrieval and storage.
To implement these new changes, the McGowan Government has allocated an additional $2.1 million in funding in the 2020-21 Mid-year Review, which will enable the Department of Transport to carry out the administration and enforcement activities.
This includes the appointment of transport investigation wardens, who will have powers of police officers when dealing with the offences under this legislation.
If you believe your car has been clamped illegally, call 13 11 56 to discuss the matter with the Department of Transport and allow the matter to be investigated.
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“This ban means Christmas shoppers and people visiting friends and family over the festive season won’t be targeted by wheel clampers.
“It puts an end to wheel clampers making an easy buck by unfairly penalising customers for visiting two shops in the same complex.
“We’ve heard dozens of stories about intimidating practices on behalf of wheel clamping companies, in many cases reducing people to tears.
“We’re happy to draw the line, and from today it is an offence for a vehicle to be clamped on private property unless someone is authorised by law to do so.
“Through this new legislation, we have also prescribed a new way of controlling parking, which balances the needs of private parking managers along with the rights of drivers to be treated fairly.”