Drivers could face fines up to £2,500 and prison sentence for common parking mistake

Birmingham resident helps NHS staff with parking charges

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UK drivers are being warned that they could face fines of up to £2,500 or three months in prison for leaving their cars parked for too long on private residential streets. Motoring experts have claimed that leaving a vehicle for too long could cost drivers a small fortune.

The rule comes under Section 2 of the Refuse Disposal Act 1978.

The law states anyone who abandons a vehicle or parts of a vehicle on roads or land in the open air can be issued a fixed penalty notice of up to £2,500 or prosecuted by authorities.

Motorists could also face court and a prison term of up to three months.

However, before any fines are issued, authorities must try to find a vehicle’s owner and give them a seven days’ notice to move it.

If the driver fails to collect the vehicle, they could face big fines and prison.

Two motorists were previously handed four-figure fines in Gloucestershire after their cars were left on a residential street for too long.

The motorists received fines of £1,370.98 and £2,079.37 respectively.

At the time, Mike Redman, the council’s director of environment, said: “We are repeatedly asked to deal with abandoned cars and the community are keen for us to catch the people responsible.

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“These prosecutions show that where there is evidence the council will issue fixed penalty notices and where appropriate pursue the matter through the courts.”

The news comes after drivers were being warned of normal, everyday items that could cause fires this summer after one driver was left with a burnt passenger seat.

Motorists were being urged to avoid leaving water bottles in their cars to avoid fires.

Plastic and water can filter light like a magnifying glass, which concentrates the sun’s rays into a beam that can burn through fabric sheets.

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This was first highlighted by Drew Anderson, a meteorologist for 69 News in the United States.

He left a clear water bottle on the passenger seat of his car and came back to see the seat had been burnt.

The sun had been hitting the bottle at the right angle to burn a hole in the front seat of his vehicle.

He said: “It’s a mistake I’ll never make again.

“When I come up to the station, I always put my big water bottle on the passenger seat.“One day, on a really hot and humid day, I left it in my car.

“Because that beam of light was so intense on that one spot on my seat, it actually made the seat hot enough to catch on fire.”

A hole was left on his seat, burn marks on the fabric of the seat, and a charred mark on his water bottle.

Graham Conway, General manager of Select Car Leasing said: “In the UK, it’s easy to overlook the dangers of leaving objects in our cars in summer.

“Especially when you think other countries experience much warmer weather, but that does not mean there’s no risk.

“Parking in the shade will best protect your car, and its contents, from the summer sun.”

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