2011-06-15

Loophole Watch: Remove Battery, Defeat Clampers

Giant disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer.

If you park illegally in Ireland, you're likely to be clamped by people who are authorised persons under section 101B of the Road Traffic Act, 1961.

That section says (emphasis is mine):

  1. In this section [...] ‘vehicle’ means a mechanically propelled vehicle.
  2. Where an authorised person finds on a public road a vehicle that is parked in contravention of [parking by-laws], he or a person acting under his direction may [...] fix an immobilisation device to the vehicle while it remains in the place where he finds it, or [move it and then clamp it].

However, the phrase mechanically propelled vehicle (which normally includes your car) has a special exception given in section 3(2) (inserted by s. 72 of the Road Traffic Act, 2010):

Where a vehicle, which, apart from this subsection, would be a mechanically propelled vehicle, stands so substantially disabled (either through collision, breakdown or the removal of the engine or other such vital part) as to be no longer capable of being propelled mechanically, it shall be regarded—

  1. for the purposes of the Road Traffic Acts 1961 to 2010, if it is disabled through collision, as continuing to be a mechanically propelled vehicle, and
  2. for all other purposes of this Act as not being a mechanically propelled vehicle.

When you put this together, it seems to mean that if you take the battery out of your car, it no longer counts as a mechanically propelled vehicle for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act, 1961, and so it can't be legally clamped.

But I'm not going to try it with my car.

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