Drivers complain of parking tickets issued to moving cars in Rīga

A street in the center of Rīga has become a driver trap. Several cars, passing the Rīga Central Market, later received a ticket for unauthorized parking, Latvian Television reported on July 26.

Centrāltirgus Street is in the very heart of Rīga – on one side is the bus station and the city canal, on the other, Rīga Central Market. Road signs state a speed limit of 20 kilometers per hour. The street also includes a parking lot overseen by a video system.

While everything seems simple and understandable, driving down this street has created unpleasant situations for many drivers, especially those who have been stuck in traffic.

Driver Juris told LTV he had once traveled down the street, but there had been congestion. “They sent me a ticket because they believe that if you are in the area more than 10 minutes, the system or the computer immediately issues a ticket,” Juris said.

There are six penalties applied to Juris in the area, which he has appealed.

Jeļena also received a similar penalty in her mailbox for unpaid parking. But she says that she had been driving down this street, not parking.

"In the picture you can see I'm driving. Of course, I called this company. I asked them to enter my car number and look at it. They looked – yes, the penalty is for an unpaid parking lot. I say, you can see my car is driving," said Jeļena.

She said that the employees of the company had not promised to cancel the ticket, except that technicians would consider the situation for an unspecified period of time. The same was said to Juris, too.

The company 'Park expert' stated in a written letter that such a situation occurred due to a technical equipment error. The mistake is allegedly fixed now. An inspection has been initiated by the Consumer Rights Protection Center (PTAC) to find out whether the company has acted unfairly.

PTAC spokeswoman Sanita Gertmane said that this year six applications have been received from consumers for this parking lot and nearly 50 consultations have been provided: “But it must be acknowledged that this number of consultations has actually increased specifically in recent weeks.”

'Park expert' acquired the right to manage the parking area of Centrāltirgus Street for the next five years at the beginning of this year.

Rīgas Nami, which manages the Central Market, has also received a large number of complaints and has realized that the market is starting to suffer.

The company's spokesman, Ivo Kiršblats, said that the sub-contractor 'Park expert' had been invited to negotiations, where it would provide a detailed explanation of how this situation had occurred and what to do to prevent future complaints. “But certainly it's not normal, and we have a cause for concern,” Kiršblats said.

On Wednesday, July 26, Riga Central Market reported that it was agreed with the company that the shortcomings with the imposition of unjustified penalties would be rectified. Unwarranted penalties will also be annulled.

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