Skip to comments.Drivers Of Towed Cars Cry Foul After Christmas Parade (L.A. turns parade into moneymaker!)
Posted on 11/29/2005 10:58:54 AM PST by BurbankKarl
LOS ANGELES -- Hundreds of angry car owners claimed their vehicles were unfairly towed Sunday during Hollywood's annual Christmas parade, but city officials said temporary "no parking" signs had been posted well in advance of the parade.
The towed vehicles were parked on local streets and were towed by the City of Los Angeles.
"We impounded 548 vehicles and issued roughly 600 citations for parking in a temporary no-stopping zone, which was prohibited on this particular day," said Jimmy Price, Chief of Parking Enforcement.
Many affected drivers said there was no way for them to know about the temporary no-parking zone.
"I'm very mad," one woman told NBC4. "There was no sign where I parked."
Hundreds of stranded drivers stormed official police garages to get their cars back. Many complained they should never have been towed because warning signs were blocked or missing.
"See this tree right here?" a woman asked, showing a picture she had taken on her cell phone camera. "Impossible to see the sign."
"We saw a police officer, and he wrote us a note that said there was no sign," another woman told NBC4.
Transportation officials said they ticket and tow hundreds of cars every year at events in Hollywood, like the Oscars and the Christmas parade. And every year, they said, drivers of towed cars complain about the department's efforts to clear the streets that absorb traffic when major boulevards are blocked.
"They are still in violation and still subject to a tow," Price said. "The law only requires we post a sign at the beginning of the block and that it is visible. But the policy is to post additional signs on the block."
Officials told NBC4 it is department policy to review photographs and witness statements if a driver requests a post-impound hearing.
One owner paid $200 to retrieve his van, and he said he has no plans to appeal.
"I'm OK now," Javier Valenzuela told NBC4.
Others are not so sure.
"$177, that's not fair," an angry woman said.
Owners of vehicles towed to official police garages have 10 days to appeal. The parking chief praises his staff but says if they don't have an ironclad case, the impound fee may be refunded.
Nah, I was suitably (certifiably?) bulletproof.
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