Limerick City and County Council is likely the State’s highest achiever when it comes to getting motorists to pay parking fines. The council achieves a compliance rate of more than 90 per cent compared with 60 to 70 per cent in Dublin.
Limerick City and County Council said it issued 13,145 parking tickets in 2021, with 1,426 remaining unpaid, a compliance rate of just over 91 per cent. In the first eight months of 2022 the council was even more successful, pushing the compliance level to 92 per cent.
Overall, it appears up to 30 per cent of parking fines issued across the country go unpaid, according to figures from local authorities.
In Dublin city centre motorists face a €125 fee if clamped by the city council’s parking enforcers and levels of compliance are high. However, if a motorist is issued with a fixed-charge notice – or parking ticket – by a traffic warden or a garda, the level of compliance is just 70 per cent.
The council reintroduced traffic wardens in addition to clamping in Dublin city in October 2021, largely in response to the growing number of builders’ vehicles which were parking on footpaths and blocking access, where clamping would have been inappropriate.
[ Over 3,500 people illegally removed clamps from their cars in Dublin last year ]
The council also said the wardens were a response to the rising number of “code blacks” – situations where a vehicle is clamped but the owner chops off the clamp themselves.
Dublin City Council has said the total number of code black or illegally removed clamps in 2022 was 3,521. The figures indicate a sixfold rise in the number of illegally removed clamps in the city between 2021 and 2022 – many of them in the vicinity of construction sites where heavy-duty tools would be available, the council noted. There were 531 code blacks in the first 11 months of 2021, according to a previous council report issued in February 2022.
The location with the highest number of code blacks was Castleforbes Road, where there were 43; followed by Mount Street Upper, where there were 33; and Sherriff Street, where there were 32.
Eight of the top 10 streets in Dublin city where motorists were most likely to be clamped in 2022 were in the south city area. Just two of the top 10 sites where the clampers were busiest were north of the river.
The number-one street for clamping was Clarendon Street in Dublin 2, a narrow street in the heart of the south city’s premier shopping district, running parallel to Grafton Street. In the 12 months, 771 vehicles were clamped on Clarendon Street.
In terms of fixed-charge notices, Dublin City Council said in the year to May 2022 just 704 fines went unpaid, but in the four months from June to September 2022 this figure jumped to 1,289 unpaid. The rise was attributed to a resurgence in traffic following the ending of Covid lockdowns.
In 2021, the last full year for which figures were available, Dublin City Council’s agents issued 39,917 fines, including clamps and fixed-charge notices. Figures show there were 2,868 appeals, of which just 475 were successful. The council said it achieved a 70 per cent compliance rate.
In Fingal County Council’s administrative area levels of non-payment of fixed-charge notices were also high. In 2021, the council was paid for only 70.81 per cent of tickets issued.
South Dublin County Council issued 7,380 valid parking tickets in 2021, 5,204 of which were paid, representing a compliance rate of 71 per cent.
In Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown, some 27,983 tickets were issued and there was a compliance rate of just over 80 per cent.
Cork City Council issued 31,859 parking fines in 2021 and a total of 26,239 fines were paid, some 82 per cent, while Sligo County Council said in 2021 some 331 tickets were left unpaid.
Galway City Council said the feedback from its transport section “on this query is that parking fines that are not paid proceed to court. So effectively there are no fines left unpaid – it is only at the discretion of the court that a fine can be dismissed.”
Fixed-charge fines for parking offences across the State can range from €40 to €150.
Vehicle owners have 28 days from the date of the notice to pay the fine. If it is not paid within 28 days, the fine is increased by 50 per cent and if it is still unpaid after a further 28 days then court proceedings are initiated.