I was thinking about the differences between UK and the Japanese traffic wardens and the biggest difference I could think of was how relaxed the Japanese wardens could be.
In the eight years that I have been living and the six years that I have been driving I have never gotten a parking ticket even though I sometimes park in non-parking zones.
In Japan traffic wardens ride around on bicycles and look for cars that are illegally parked on yellow zones/lines. Mostly the zones in Japan are strips of yellow paint that runs up the side off the road. As Japan doesn’t have as many pavements as the UK most of the designated walk lines are painted white lines with a sign posted up for drivers to see if it is a parking area or not. If there is a pavement then the pavement step is coloured yellow and sometimes the paint is so faded or even worn away that you can’t work out of it’s a non-parking area.
Outside my school has a non-parking zone with faded and cracked yellow paint painted to the steps of the pavement. I have parked my car outside for a few hours and now and again the traffic wardens come around and sign me up. But what I have noticed is if I go and say “hey this is my car” they will say “hello” and then ride on and they have returned fifteen minutes later and repeated the hello and goodbye again. Of all the times I have done this I have never received a parking ticket and sometimes the wardens have been writing my car up for more than five minutes before I go down and do my hey thing.
When I first got my car and parked on a non-parking zone and saw a traffic warden coming my way I drove off and tried to find another area to wait for my wife but after learning that if the traffic warden sees you in your car they will just move on and not bother you. This I have tested hundreds of times and it works.
Now If I was to do this in the UK the warden would just write me up a ticket and slap it on my windscreen (I believe it’s electronically done now?). I have known traffic wardens to hide and then pounce when the drive leaves the car and I have seen verbal and fist fights a lot.
As for towing I have only witness the Japanese authorities do this once and the funny thing was the police officer organizing the towing knocked on all the car windows that had occupants in them to say for the inconvenience and that they were toing the car in front. When the copper knocked on my window I jumped and wondered what the hell he wanted. Again if a car was being towed in the UK they would just clamp it and tow it without caring about who is around them.