Few things irritate motorists more than finding a parking ticket on their cars. Justified or not, Norway’s new transport minister, Ketil Solvig-Olsen, aims to at least make the country’s parking regulations apply more fairly.
Solvik-Olsen won kudos recently for managing to get a key stretch of new highway opened before this year’s summer holiday traffic and speeding up construction of another. Then he tackled parking fees and now he’s struck again, revving up the sluggish process of reforming parking regulations and standardizing how they’re practiced.
The minister announced last week that he’s had enough of the various ways the country’s roughy 200 parking companies conduct business. He suspects they gouge motorists and now he wants to set up a new agency to regulate them. He also wants to halt the parking companies’ practice of paying commissions to parking meter monitors based on how many parking tickets they issue. That gives them an incentive to issue as many parking tickets as possible, even when they may be for highly questionable offenses.
Motorists are left facing a difficult and complicated process of appealing them, and many simply pay the fine, enriching the parking companies. “We’ve discussed a ban on paying commissions, and it’s controversial,” Solvik-Olsen told Nettavisen. “But we’re going to propose it and are braced for objections. The background, though, is that some parking monitors issue too many fines.”
He also aims to expedite creation of new, nationwide regulations for the parking business and have them ready by the end of the year.