Vehicle Missing? You Parked It Illegally & Police Towed It! Rs 6 Lakh Collected in Towing Charges by traffic police in less than three weeks
Mangaluru: Gone are those days, when motorists who knowingly used to park their vehicles in unauthorized parking zones, and would get away by paying a mere Rs 100 fine, which is less than a bottle of beer. But not anymore! City traffic police who started towing vehicles parked illegally since March 2019, have resumed vehicle towing after a break since March 2020, due to lockdown/pandemic.. In case you do not find your vehicle that you parked on the side of the road to briefly visit the market or sip a cup of coffee with a friend at a nearby hotel, it is quite possible that the police might have towed it away for illegal parking.
The Mangaluru City Traffic Police after a break is back with towing vehicles to clear away illegal parking. Earlier there were four towing vehicles but as of now only two are functioning in Mangaluru East (Kadri) and West Traffic (Pandeshwar) police station limits. In less than three weeks, traffic police have fined 254 two-wheelers and 58 four-wheelers, and collected nearly Rs six lakhs. Errant two wheeler riders are fined Rs 1650 for violation and Rs 2,000 for four-wheeler. Out of this, Rs 350 (two-wheeler) and Rs 500 (four-wheeler) will be paid to the towing vehicle contractor.
M A Nataraj, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP-Traffic) speaking to Team Mangalorean said, “The towing resumed on 8 September in west traffic police station and at east police limit it started a few days later. Two more—South and North traffic stations will also soon start. We have requested the higher officials to depute vehicles. The vehicles have to come from Bengaluru. The majority of the traffic violations in the city include: no parking, haphazard parking, parking in bus bay, parking in no-parking zones, double parking, obstruction and others”.
“However, traffic violated vehicles are not towed straightway to the jurisdictional police station. After spotting a violating vehicle, traffic police in the towing vehicle makes an announcement to remove it. They wait for a few minutes and the vehicle is towed if no one turns up. If vehicle owners turn up, they let go after paying stipulated fines only. The initiative is part of the crackdown on illegal parking and also to free up space for the movement of vehicles. Even though such hefty fines would have at least taught motorists not to park their vehicles anywhere they want, it seems like motorists still break the rules” added ACP Nataraj.
But there are ample complaints about mishandling of towed vehicles. Motor owners had complained vehicles are handled carelessly while being towed. In the wake of a few motorists in the city having already found them in a similar situation, ACP has sought to clarify that any vehicle, parked in violation of rules, will be towed away to the nearest police station. “We will ascertain that no such damage or mishandling was done.” said ACP. This initiative should have been implemented by the traffic police long ago, but anyways, as they say ‘Better Late Than Never’, the Towing idea by the police has served the purpose, and in just within three weeks the police have collected nearly Rs 6 lakhs in towing charges.
Police Commissioner Vikash Kuamr two days ago declared about 60 roads in Mangaluru as ‘no parking’ zones’ and vehicles violating the rules had to be towed away, and owners had to pay the required fines. This is some good news for road users and pedestrians but not for those who carelessly park their vehicles as many roads became “no parking” zones unless specifically earmarked either by the Mangaluru City Corporation or the Traffic Police as “parking zone”. If you look around Mangaluru, on all the widened roads done for the easy movement of traffic, unfortunately the side portion of these roads are taken by illegally parked vehicles. So what good is to have the road widened, if it doesn’t serve the needed purpose.
Finally, with so many complaints pouring into the police department regarding illegal parking of vehicles, it’s nice to note that the traffic police have resumed the vehicle towing again, thereby bringing awareness among the traffic violators, and at the same time earning very good income for the traffic police department. So next time before you PARK your VEHICLE look for the NO PARKING SIGN, or if you don’t care then you are free to park as per your wish, and later face the consequences of PAYING hefty FINES/TOWING CHARGES. The option is yours!