Sunday, October 12, 2003

Legalities in parking payments

Newspaper AD reports that recently a judge has ruled on the issue whether or not payment for parking in Dutch cities may be limited to using the Chipknip only. While in September a judge in Den Haag rules that the city of Den Haag has the right to limit parking meter payment facilities to the use of the Chipknip (see the Dutch text here), this time the ruling is different (see new ruling here).

The jugde in this new case is actually basing the verdict on some independent thinking rather than looking at the similar trial in Den Haag. Actually the judge is diving into a non-decided legal debate on the status of a Chipknip betaling. And chooses to view the Chipknip betaling as different from a giro payment.

In my view, the judge may want to reconsider his/her opinion on the basis of reading the single one best thesis on this issue: a thesis by Elvira B├╝chner. In 1999 she won the legal faculty price of the University of Nijmegen for her graduation paper about the legal aspects of chip payments. Essentially she views the chipknip payment as a split up giro payment, where there is a time lag between the debit-side of the payment (the load) and the credit-side (the actual payment).

Although some people are happy with this verdict my guess is that some personal irritation of the judge may have played a role in the ultimate ruling. And my prediction is that the ruling will be overruled in due time.