Amsterdam city council must stop handing out fines to drivers who wrongly fill in their car number plate in parking meters, as long as they can prove they have paid, judges said on Friday.
The case was brought by Bas Filippini, chairman of the Privacy First foundation, who is campaigning against the use of number plates in parking.
Most of the city’s parking meters no longer issue tickets but require drivers to check in their car number plate. Traffic wardens then scan cars to see if the number plate has been entered.
The council considers that using the wrong number plate is the same as not paying but the court disagreed. ‘Not finding a payment corresponding to a real number plate could be evidence that no payment was made but the person parking can demonstrate they did pay in a variety of ways,’ the court said.
The privacy body says that number plate-based parking allows the city council to track people’s movements and could also be wrongly interpreted by the police in criminal investigations.
In a similar case last year the courts tore up a parking fine because the driver could prove he had paid but that the touch screen on the meter did not work.
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