Responsibility for enforcing the law in Ireland relating to illegal parking and stopping of motor vehicles rests with traffic wardens and An Garda Siochana. Illegal parking and stopping of vehicles on public roads in Ireland are considered traffic offences. Together with an Garda Siochana, traffic wardens are empowered to issue on-the-spot fines for these offences.
Laois County Council at present employs 2 full time traffic wardens to monitor instances of these offences in their areas. Motor vehicles are covered under the Road Traffic Acts 1961-1975 and the principal legislation governing this area is the Local Authorities (Traffic Wardens) Act, 1975. Vehicles that are exempt from restrictions on stopping and parking include ambulances, police vehicles and fire brigade vehicles.
Duties of a traffic warden
In situations where a traffic warden has reasonable grounds for believing someone is committing or has committed an offence, he or she may give a “parking ticket”. This ticket will state that you have committed an offence and will state the date, time and location of the offence and will detail your vehicle registration. These powers are granted to traffic wardens under the Road Traffic Acts 1961-1975.
The traffic wardens use a hand-held computerised device to issue tickets and Laois County Council keeps a record of all tickets issued in a main database. Using this database, Laois County Council can find out how many parking fines a particular individual has accumulated. Traffic Wardens wear body worn cameras and will activate the camera where it is deemed necessary in accordance with Laois County Council’s Guidance and Procedures on the use of Body Worn Cameras by Traffic Wardens.
Parking is restricted in certain places in Laois. For example, in Portlaoise, Laois County Council restrict parking at certain times and in certain places. These parking restrictions are clearly indicated through signs clearly displayed at the roadside.