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Drivers fined over £1,000 for parking errors under 200-year-old law

The Vagrancy Act of 1824 technically means that begging – or asking for loose change – is a crime. It was overturned in the House of Commons early last month but has not yet been abolished

Motorists have been warned against breaking a 200-year-old law
Motorists have been warned against breaking a 200-year-old law

Drivers have been warned they could face a £1,000 fine just for asking for loose change in the car park – and it all stems from a 200-year-old law.

The Vagrancy Act 1824 has become controversial in recent years, with critics claiming it criminalizes the homeless.

It was overturned in the House of Commons early last month – but many fear it will reach its 200th anniversary in 2024 before final action is complete.

The law technically means that begging – or asking for loose change – is considered a crime.

This means that motorists who are short on loose change or counterfeit coins in parking lots should be cautious as this could be classified as begging under the Vagrancy Act.

Expensive driving mistakes

They could be sentenced to spend a month in the ‘House of Correction’ but are more likely to be fined £1,000 these days – if put into action at all.

Car expert Graham Conway of van leasing company Select Car Leasing said: “There are still a handful of bizarre laws in this country that have the potential to land drivers in hot water.

“This includes flying a football team flag from your vehicle and sleeping drunk in the back seat.

Have you been wrongly penalized as a driver? Let us know: mirror.money.saving@mirror.co.uk

“But this has to be one of the strangest. Fortunately, many parking machines now offer the option of paying with an EC or credit card.

“There are also a number of mobile apps that make vehicle reimbursement easy and efficient. But everyone knows at least one parking garage that is behind the times and where you can only pay with coins.

“In fact, I’d bet the vast majority of drivers still carry some form of loose change in their console pockets in case they get caught.”

A full repeal of the Vagrancy Act 1824 was agreed in the House of Commons on March 1st, six weeks after it passed the House of Lords.

The law was introduced nearly two centuries ago to address the problem of soldiers returning from the Napoleonic War being left destitute, but has more recently been described as “cruel and archaic”.

Rough Sleeping and Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said: “The Vagrancy Act is obsolete and needs to be replaced and so I am pleased to announce that the Government will repeal it entirely.”

The two-century-old law isn’t the only parking issue some motorists face. Previous research by Select Car Leasing found that the number of “dangerous parking violations” has increased.

MS10 enforcement notices are issued by authorities for “leaving a vehicle in a dangerous position,” which includes blocking a sidewalk or parking in a blind corner. And statistics from the DVLA showed that the numbers rose from 57 in 2016 to 411 in 2019.

Mr Conway said: “Parking is a longstanding bogeyman for many Brits and the situation could be further complicated by a total nationwide ban on sidewalk parking.

“But while it can be frustrating at times when spaces are tight, it’s always worth taking a few extra minutes to make sure you’re parked legally and safely.”

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/money/drivers-warned-over-1000-fine-26627775 Drivers fined over £1,000 for parking errors under 200-year-old law

Fry Electronics Team

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