Traffic wardens are civilian staff hired to help control traffic flow and parking congestion. Traffic wardens are mainly found in the United Kingdom, but also exist in Ireland and Hong Kong. Local police forces and local government authorities traditionally employ traffic wardens, also known as civil enforcement officers. The average salary of a traffic warden in the U.K. as of late 2008, was 20,526 British pounds ($30,900 U.S.), according to the Accelerated Ideas professional resources website.
Traffic wardens monitor the use of street parking meters from which drivers purchase tickets to legally park in set zones. A traffic warden writes a ticket for any vehicle that has an expired parking ticket display in the windscreen or is parked in an illegal area. The tickets, known as “fixed penalty notices,” request that the driver pay a fixed fee to the local authority (typically around 30 U.K. pounds/$45 U.S.) within a certain time. Drivers who refuse to pay may receive a court summons.
A traffic warden helps the police by informing them if they see any vehicles reported as stolen. As stated on the U.K. Careers Advice website, the role of traffic warden is sometimes combined with that of community police officers, who are civilian workers who assist police in detecting crime and controlling antisocial behaviour. A traffic warden may also give evidence against driving offenders in court.
Traffic wardens ensure vehicles’ motor licenses (also known as tax discs) are up-to-date. U.K. vehicles must display tax discs in the windscreens because they indicate that a vehicle is roadworthy.
Traffic wardens assist motorists by providing them with directions, informing them of any relevant parking laws and contacting the police if to report any acts of vandalism. Traffic wardens should also be able to provide clear instructions to motorists and demonstrate patience, common sense and friendliness in doing so
Traffic wardens should have an even temperament and remain calm when faced with dealing with the public, as drivers can become aggressive or threatening when faced with penalty fines.
Traffic Flow and Clamping
Traffic wardens monitor activity on one-way road systems and check for infringements during the loading and unloading of shop goods from trucks and lorries. They also arrange for the “clamping” of vehicles, whereby a heavy metal clamp is attached to a vehicle’s wheel and later taken to a parking pound.