Traffic wardens are responsible for making sure that traffic and
parking laws and regulations are observed.
They monitor the use of parking meters, controlled parking zones and one-way systems, and check for infringements of waiting restrictions and restrictions on the loading and unloading of goods. They report parking offences and issue fixed penalty notices to offenders.
Other duties include checking that vehicles are displaying current motor vehicle licences (tax discs) and assisting the police in keeping a look out for stolen vehicles. Traffic wardens also arrange for vehicles to be clamped, or removed by the police to a parking pound if necessary.
Some police forces have extended the role of traffic wardens, to cover moving traffic offences and deal with antisocial behaviour. This can mean combining the role of traffic warden with that of community support officer (see Police Community Support Officer for more information about this work).
Traffic wardens may occasionally be required to appear in court to give evidence against offenders. Generally they don't require any formal training, however there are traffic warden courses available for those that want to learn more and give their CV a bit of an edge.
Traffic wardens usually work between 6.30am and 8pm. It is normal
to work around 37 hours a week on a shift system, which will include
The work is outdoors in all weather conditions, in the dust, noise and fumes of traffic. Traffic wardens spend most of the day on their feet.
The specific area in which wardens work may change daily, so it may be necessary to have a driving licence.
A full uniform is provided. In most cases, traffic wardens are equipped with a personal radio in case of emergency.
To be a traffic warden you should:
The number of openings for traffic wardens is decreasing as more
local authorities are taking over the responsibility for enforcing
parking regulations from the police force. These authorities employ
parking attendants who have similar, but narrower, areas of
responsibility. The London boroughs have contracted out the work to
private companies who directly employ the staff. Further details on
the work of parking attendants can be found in the Parking
In some other areas there are plans to merge duties of parking attendants and traffic wardens into one force of privately-employed wardens.
Career prospects vary according to area and may be limited in areas where few wardens are employed. Progression is based on ability and experience, and traffic wardens may be promoted to senior grades.
Staff employed in the more senior grades become increasingly involved in the administrative, supervisory and training aspects of the work.
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