The McGowan Government will ban wheel clamping across Western Australia, with legislation currently being drafted to end the draconian practice.
The new legislation will mean the use of certain vehicle immobilisers, such as wheel clamps, to enforce payment or the collection of parking charges on private property will be banned.
A recent series of high-profile wheel clamping cases across our suburbs and other popular locations, including Scarborough, has led to a rise in community concern that vehicles are being clamped improperly and in a way that coerces payment.
One of the issues raised by the community is ‘wheel clampers’ sit and wait for an opportunity to clamp parked vehicles in a predatory and intimidating fashion.
The new legislation will protect the rights of land owners and small businesses, to allow for infringements as normal. As a matter of last resort vehicle removal procedures could occur, but costs will be capped and it will include a requirement for WA Police to be notified.
To prevent potential malpractice, a comprehensive framework will be developed to regulate the steps taken before a vehicle parked on private property can be removed.
This framework will set out rights and responsibilities to ensure vehicle owners are being treated fairly and lawfully, while still ensuring business owners have appropriate turnover of parking bays required for customers.
Prominent signage with the penalties and consequences for breaching parking conditions will be required at the site and every effort must be made to locate the owner of a vehicle before it can be removed.
The McGowan Government is also progressing amendments to regulation that will lift standards in the WA towing industry, which will come into effect in late-2020.
As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:
“Wheel clamping is a disgraceful scam, it’s un-Australian and it has to stop.
“The WA community have made their voice heard on this issue, my Government has listened and we are acting immediately to stamp out this infuriating practice.
“New laws to ban wheel clamping are being drafted and will be introduced as quickly as possible.
“We will develop a new framework that clearly outlines what steps need to be taken before a car can be fined or towed, that balances the needs of small business with the rights of drivers to be treated fairly.”
As stated by Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
“We have listened to the concerns raised about wheel clamping of vehicles, and other means of vehicle immobilisation, and are making the appropriate changes to prevent this from happening.
“We will be consulting with affected businesses to ensure a fair outcome for both vehicle and land owners.
“This isn’t about replacing wheel clamping with towing – we will ensure strict procedures are in place to regulate the towing of vehicles.
“Fairness is the key here, legislative changes will provide both vehicle owners and land owners with a fair system for parking on private land.
“The wheel clamping ban will complement other regulatory changes underway to improve safety and conduct in the towing industry.”
Transport Minister’s Office – 6552 5500