Ruling shows motorists should park with care
Unlike Penalty Charge Notices issued by traffic wardens and police, tickets issued by private parking firms are not regulated or backed by legislation.
But the Mackie case set a legal precedent, demonstrating that if a motorist parks in a restricted private area, with signage advising of restrictions and charges, they are agreeing to enter into a contract with the company.
Should they fall foul of the terms, then fail to pay up, they can be found to be in breach.
Some firms, such as Parking Eye, now cite Sheriff Way’s judgement on their websites. However, Ms Mackie, ran up a significant bill by repeatedly refused to pay up; in reality, private parking firms will only pursue a driver if it is cost-effective.
Drivers in Scotland are also exempt from the Protection of Freedoms Act 2012, which means registered keepers of vehicles are under no obligation to say who was driving at the time.
In order for a parking firm to succeed in any court case, it must be able to prove who was behind the wheel.