What does a Traffic Warden do?
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 aretraffic warden coursesavailable for those that want to learn more and give their CV a bit of an edge.
What's the working environment like working as a Traffic Warden?
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 weekends.
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.
What does it take to become a Traffic Warden?
To be a traffic warden you should:
- have a positive attitude to the job
- be assertive and have common sense
- have the initiative to cope with unexpected situations
- be able to understand and apply written and spoken instructions
- be able to think clearly and react sensibly under pressure
- have patience, tact and a sense of humour
- have excellent communication skills
- have a good level of fitness
- be able to form good working relationships with the police and other colleagues.
Traffic Warden Career Opportunities
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 Attendant profile.
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.