Cases when it is possible to avoid payment for parking
On the very first days of the year many electronic mass media spread information about New Year “gift” of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine. It was informed that it was possible to avoid payment of parking fee if a parking lot was not equipped with parking machines. Lawyers of our firm decided to explain this situation be means of general legal advice due to relevance of the topic.
This New Year “gift” is about two years old since the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine 1342 which approved the Rules on parking of vehicles entered into force since the March of 2010. However a provision regarding presence of parking machines in the amount “one per ten parking spots” was really enacted since the 1st of January of current year. And even though it can really serve as a ground to avoid payment it is only one more ground of dozens of others that are of significant importance. And now more specifically.
First of all we would like to mention that a significant contribution to organization of relations with representatives of parking business was made by the Tax Code of Ukraine. Since the 1st of January 2011 it will be possible to charge money for parking services only on those parking lots regarding which there exists a decision of a body of local authorities about organization of vehicle parking for money. But the very issue regarding such a decision will give representatives of parking business a hard time and the very provision will later on help in a civilized dispute with the lot operator. Besides the list of land plots provided for organization of parking activities is also approved by a local council with inclusion of address, total area, number of parking places. We recommend to find out about such decision in you locality. And if such does exist then you should check presence of those streets and parking lots where you are charged for parking.
Now let’s go back to the Parking regulations themselves. They are applied to persons that place their vehicles on parking lots that are equipped in compliance with THESE REGULATIONS AND TRAFFIC RULES. And payment is charged for services related to maintenance of such lots. Based on this we conclude that payment is charged illegally so it will be quite lawful to refuse to pay.
What requirements are mostly violated?
- parking lots are prohibited to locate on streets with two traffic lanes that have width less than 7,5 meters. So presence of parking lot’s employees on such streets can be easily neglected;
- there must be blue (azure) road surface marking and appropriate road signs (in accordance with Traffic Rules parking sign must go along with a plate with numbers “10, 25, 50”);
- parking lots must be equipped with machines for parking payment in the amount of one machine per 10 parking places. Here we have ambiguous situation. If there are no machines then everything is clear. But if there is only one per fifty cars? How can be proved that your place was not among “these 10”? For the time being it is not quite clear but there are some grounds for disputes;
- since the 1st of January parking lots that are located away from roads and sidewalks (special lots) will have to be equipped with entry and exit terminals;
- there must be information about operator (business entity), cost of services and means of payment on all parking lots in easily accessible places. Absence of such information automatically allows you to refuse to pay for the services of fake parking service providers. Besides absence of requirements regarding payments in cash allows to provide a credit card. Very unlikely that there are many parking lots in Ukraine which accept credit cards;
- according to the Rules documents which confirm payment must be represented by parking ticket and/or receipt (you should find out about their availability prior to payment);
And some more aspects. If all requirements of the Rules are in compliance and you paid for the parking then it is allowed to keep your vehicle parked free of charge for another 10 minutes after the paid term. If there appear any disputes regarding completeness of payment, fulfillment of requirements and at the same time you are being stopped by any means you can call the operator and request presence of its representative. If the representative does not arrives within an hour a driver can avoid payment for parking even if he was wrong (Subsection 3.1 of the Regulations).
And one more thing: the District administrative court of Kiev upheld the position in case number 2а-17176/09/2670 according to which provision of the Regulations regarding the fact that parking lot employee can seize vehicles by means of barriers or other technical means was considered illegal.