COWBOY clampers may have to hang up their boots and spurs if the Government backs a new code of practice.
The RAC Foundation is backing the British Parking Association's new code covering parking on private land and unregulated car parks.
Both groups hope it will drive the cowboys out of the clamping business.
In 2002 the Examiner campaigned against rogue clampers operating in this area.
Abuses reported to motoring groups from distressed motorists include:
* A motorcycle was clamped on a petrol station forecourt while the rider was in the petrol station asking for directions. The cost of release was £265.
* A disabled motorist had to pay £314 to prevent her car being towed away from outside her daughter's flat - despite having her disabled badge on full display.
The new code provides a model of best practice for clampers on private land.
* Setting regulation tariffs for clamping and towing.
* Creating an authoritative standard against which courts and trading standards officials can measure unacceptable behaviour.
* Setting out clear guidelines on what signs are necessary, so that drivers are not misled into believing parking is allowed.
An RAC Foundation spokesman said: "We want this code to be given the force of law.
"We still need more action to get these modern day highwaymen under control."