Things You Must Know When You Car is Towed
We all know how unpleasant roads are in Metro Manila. In fact, it’s more than a must to be cautious about your driving. You may be a defensive driver, but if the next guy is a complete douchebag, you will still end up in a nasty situation on the road.
The dilemmas that motorists encounter on a daily basis are just too many to mention but one of the most common problems they all face is finding an appropriate parking slot. Most drivers know that finding a parking spot in Metro Manila is like finding a needle in a haystack.
Most of the time, the only ones available are either a little too far from your meeting venue, or too expensive for just a parking space for an hour or two. Some would even be willing to risk their cars in exchange for a convenient parking space.
When we mention illegal parking, towing is another issue that drivers have to deal with. Yes, you heard it right: Vehicle Towing.
MMDA Definition of Illegal Parking
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) signed a memorandum last 2002 enumerating places and instances that are covered by illegal parking. Check and be guided by these provisions:
- All National roads in Metro Manila.
- In primary and secondary roads of cities and municipalities in Metro Manila:
- Within six (6) meters of any intersection or curved lane.
- Within four (4) meters of driveways or entrances to any fire station, hospital, clinic and other similar establishments.
- Within four (4) meters of hydrants.
- On the roadside of any illegally parked vehicle.
- On pedestrian crosswalks.
- In front of any authorized driveway.
- On the sidewalks, paths and alleys not intended for parking.
- At the foot or near bridges.
- At any place where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking and/or declared as No Parking Zone by the MMDA or provided by law or ordinances.
If you are apprehended for illegal parking and your car is about to be towed, assess first if your car is parked illegally based on the provisions of MMDA. However, you should also be guided that different local government units (cities and 1st class municipalities) also implement their own towing policies which you need to be aware of.
When Your Car Is Towed
When your car is towed because you parked illegally, owe up to your mistakes and pay the right fees to get your car from the impounding area. Never bribe these people to prevent your car from being towed. However, always make sure that the towing company is legitimate and is an accredited contractor of MMDA or of the LGU that is governing the area where your car is towed.
Also, you need to take in mind the following as your rights as a driver:
- Neither the traffic officer nor the towing company has the right to extort money from you for the sake of immediate release of your car. Unfortunately, you can’t simply pay the fee either to prevent your car being towed; you have to claim it from the impounding lot.
- If your car is an “attended illegally parked vehicle”, your car should NOT be towed, but instead, a TVR (traffic violation receipt) shall be issued to you.
- In case that your illegally parked car/vehicle is unattended, you should be informed by the towing company that your car will be towed. The TVR shall be given to you in the impounding area together will all the fees that you need to settle.
Remember that any act of clamping, lifting and the subsequent towing and impounding of a motor vehicle against the will of the owner may constitute a violation of Republic Act No. 6539 or the Anti-Carnapping Act of 1972 which states that carnapping is the taking, with intent to gain, of a motor vehicle belonging to another without the latter’s consent or by means of violence against or intimidation of persons, or by using force upon things.
- You have the right to know the legitimacy of the towing company’s operation which includes verifying if they are really an accredited contract of MMDA or of the LGU. If you feel that the towing company or personnel is doing something illegal, let the MMDA know via Hotline 136.
- There are instances – well a lot of times – when a car is towed without proper handling. When things go wrong and the towing process inflicts damages to your car, you can go after the towing company for the compensation of all the damages caused by improper towing.
Remember, towing damages incurred due to illegal parking violation shall not be covered by most of the car insurance policies because these are the kind of damages incurred or obtained due to an “illegal” act.
It really sucks seeing your car being taken away. To prevent this from happening – again, you need to follow the traffic rules which include the appropriate parking procedures in public areas. Don’t park on restricted areas, no matter how urgent or valid your reasons are. Laws do not honor reasons. It is absolute and everyone should follow it.