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Old 21st October 2005, 12:03   #1
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Default Fight against Towing

Source: Todays TOI::

Car owners fight against towing

Petitioners Claim Malpractices, Cop-Contractor Nexus

By Shibu Thomas /TNN

Mumbai: Malpractices by towing companies who whisk away wrongly-parked cars have been the pet peeve of vehicle owners. Two PILs have now been filed before the Bombay high court complaining about wrongdoings by private contractors who tow away vehicles on behalf of the traffic police.
Sion resident Gaurang Damani and city advocate R V Bhasin have filed separate petitions urging the court to stop the “harassment’’ by towing companies. Incidentally both Damani and Bhasin had their vehicles towed, which prompted them to file the PILs.
“It is a huge scam perpetrated by private towing contractors in connivance with the traffic police,’’ said Bhasin. The advocate had parked his car in Dadar near Sena Bhavan and on his return found that the vehicle had been towed away. Damani had a similar experience earlier when his vehicle, parked in a bylane in Matunga, was towed away by the police. “There was no parking sign and neither was my car obstructing traffic,’’ he said. The Matunga traffic police collected Rs 100 as fine and asked him to pay an additional Rs 200 as towing charges to one Himalayan Towings. “The police justified the fine saying my vehicle was parked within 15 metres of a corner,’’ he said adding that neither the Motor Vehicles Act nor Rules of Road Regulation specify any such distance.
Surprisingly, no towing company existed at the address on the receipt issued by Himalaya Towings, which had listed their address as Krystal House on Sion Causeway. “This proves that there is something amiss,’’ said Damani.
Rules allow car owners to park their vehicles on any road as long as it does not cause danger or obstruction to road users and is not in a no-parking area. Parking is forbidden at road crossings, near a corner, traffic lights, pedestrian crossing, footpaths, near schools, hospital entrances and bus stops. Parking is also restrained
on the wrong side of the road or if vehicles block a traffic sign.
“Neither the traffic police nor the towing contractor heed to rules or bother to find out if there is a noparking sign in the area,’’ said Bhasin. “Most of the time, the vehicles are handled roughly causing damages that require costly repairs,’’ he added.
The petitioners have claimed a racket involving the traffic police and the contractors. “Even if 10 cars are towed every day by one of the 25 police chowkies, the annual collection is over Rs 25 crore,” they alleged. “No audits are conducted to show where the collected money goes. Contracts are awarded without calling for tenders,’’ they said. They have cited a case, where a Chennai traffic cop fined car owners for violations and issued fake receipts.
Nitin Dossa, executive chairman of the Western India Automobile Association said his organisation gets many complaints from irate vehicle owners. “The private contractors have daily targets to meet. This leads to cars being towed away even if they don’t break any rules,’’ said Dossa. “We have made representations to the traffic police to tow away vehicles only when it is parked in a no parking zone.’’
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Old 21st October 2005, 23:28   #2
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I fully agree, not only this but there is a huge nexus . the most crowded roads on bombay have trucks and tempos parked during peak traffic hours and none of these so called Cops or towing vans do so much as move damn finger, the sv near andheri subway, the link road from indian oil signal till fame ad labs always has trucks parked causing huge jams. Where are the cops i ask????
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Old 22nd October 2005, 00:03   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajalphonso
I fully agree, not only this but there is a huge nexus . the most crowded roads on bombay have trucks and tempos parked during peak traffic hours and none of these so called Cops or towing vans do so much as move damn finger, the sv near andheri subway, the link road from indian oil signal till fame ad labs always has trucks parked causing huge jams. Where are the cops i ask????
Happened to me long back where my bike was towed and i had to pay to get it back... and the beauty of it??? There was no "NO PARKING" sign. The cops said that they had to reach targets....

Ever heard of this? hassle an innocent citizen to reach your target? where is integrity in their work?

and i have seen cop cars and jeeps et all parked right in front of no parking signs, cutting yellow lanes, entering no entry lanes... all this when there is no emergencies.... (the cops say things like they can do all this in times of an emergency. yeah right... like no one is watching....)
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Old 22nd October 2005, 00:36   #4
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When we buy cars we pay all kinds of taxes. Road tax is one of them. Then we realise that, where sidewalks exsist, hawkers have taken them over for FREE. If there are no sidewalks, the hawkers coolly take over the roads again for FREE. Pedastrians are forced to walk on the roads and car's be damned, who cares. Then traffic starts building up, there are traffic jams daily and the cops are asked to do something about the pathetic traffic situation. Guess what the solution is. Make the road/area NO PARKING zone. Reason is the local dimwit politician doesn't want the hawkers to go and of course the hawkers have a union.
Of course this towing business is a scam. Happened to me long time back. My Matiz got towed, went to get it back and saw the front bumper was damaged, blasted the cop on duty who in typical indian govt employee style passed the buck to the pandu in the towing van and obviously the towing van was not avaliable then as it had gone on it's normal hunting spree. I demanded that the cops pool in and pay for my bumper. Guess the pandu felt his 6 month corruption money would go in paying me off so told me to take the car and leave. Dr. Pasricha was the commissioner of traffic at that time. I told the cop I would be sending the complaint to the most honest and intelligent traffic commissioner and action will be taken by him. The letter was sent and I am still waiting for a reply.
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Old 9th June 2008, 17:03   #5
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This man fights this way !



A motorist tries to stop his car from being towed away
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Old 9th June 2008, 17:44   #6
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I think there is a law which states that no towing van can have white number plates, they should have only yellow number plates.

Sadly, each and every towing van I see has a white number plate. God knows whether the registration number is valid or not.

But you can protest on that count to the traffic cop (don't know how effective it will be)
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Old 9th June 2008, 19:29   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaizer Sozay View Post
I fully agree, not only this but there is a huge nexus . the most crowded roads on bombay have trucks and tempos parked during peak traffic hours and none of these so called Cops or towing vans do so much as move damn finger, the sv near andheri subway, the link road from indian oil signal till fame ad labs always has trucks parked causing huge jams. Where are the cops i ask????
yea good point and the answer to the question is that the truck/bus owners pay the cops hafta to park in a public place AFAIK.

i have had one run-in with the towing truck here in bangalore (none in mumbai when i was there). this happened when i parked my bike in front of a parking lot sign! this was just after the brigade/residency junction and happened when i was in college. i went to ashok nagar police station to find my bike amongst the towed vehicles. i can't remember how much i paid, but i told the inspector that i had parked in front of a parking sign. he refused to budge. finally i relented because i didn't want to waste time. best part is that when i asked for the challan, he claimed i have to come later to collect it!

but overall i think that the situation is worse in mumbai than bangalore. i hated the tow trucks so much that while driving there, everytime i came next to them in traffic signals i'd shout abuses at them!
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Old 9th June 2008, 19:37   #8
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I think that in developed markets there is something called wheel locks or something. I dont remember exactly, but this scheme would be helpful.

And police should be charged for each and every scratch on any 2/4 wheeler.

Near the malls, there are cars blocking and literally creating traffic jams, but then no one arrives!
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Old 9th June 2008, 19:51   #9
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Angry Who Will Poilice The Police

In April I was having my lunch in a restaurant when the waiter came & said that my bike is getting seized.



I ran out to see that they were still trying to put it on the truck. When I confronted the Inspector, he said it was in NO PARKING.

I had parked the bike atleast 5 feet away from where the NP ends.

I tried to reason out with him. He asked a street urchin (Supposedly they call themselves the Inspector's staff) who replied in negative.

So it was my word against some imbecile who does this for a living.

Since I had to go somewhere in a short while, I paid up 100 bucks

The way I see it, I dint have a case there.

The only eyewitness was their staff. I dint have anyone to claim that my bike was in the legal parking zone.

FYI: This happened opposite Empire in Kammanahalli.
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Old 9th June 2008, 19:52   #10
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This towing scam is just a very small example of the irreversible rot that has affected this nation. The common man is left with no option but to pay or else fight a battle which he MAY eventually win against a system which will begin rotting elsewhere... as in a new scam. The price of the fight for the common man in terms of time money and resources expended does not justify the effort since he would rather put that valuable time of his to make a few extra bucks for self betterment. This fact is known to the scamsters and the politicians and is willfully exploited.
I remember after the serial train blasts in Mumbai, how the news channels were ranting about the "spirit of Mumbai" for taking to the trains again. Honestly, it is the spirit of survival that got them to the trains due to a lack of alternative available transport to have to get to work at any cost inorder to support their livelihoods. It certainly was not a spirit of defiance towards terrorism.

IMO we are beyond the point of no return. The scams have a self reproducing mechanism and so have the scamsters.
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Old 9th June 2008, 20:39   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysmokesleaves View Post
This towing scam is just a very small example of the irreversible rot that has affected this nation. The common man is left with no option but to pay or else fight a battle which he MAY eventually win against a system which will begin rotting elsewhere... as in a new scam. The price of the fight for the common man in terms of time money and resources expended does not justify the effort since he would rather put that valuable time of his to make a few extra bucks for self betterment. This fact is known to the scamsters and the politicians and is willfully exploited.
I remember after the serial train blasts in Mumbai, how the news channels were ranting about the "spirit of Mumbai" for taking to the trains again. Honestly, it is the spirit of survival that got them to the trains due to a lack of alternative available transport to have to get to work at any cost inorder to support their livelihoods. It certainly was not a spirit of defiance towards terrorism.

IMO we are beyond the point of no return. The scams have a self reproducing mechanism and so have the scamsters.
I was searching for similar words. A common man, it looks like has no right to use the road.
And the common man is also at fault. I have seen 12 year old kids driving on Scooty or Scooty pep. Their parents give them this vehicle and they feel proud about it. How will 12 year old handle the vehicle in case of emergency braking ? How will he/she handle the vehicle on wet roads ? And then, if these geniuses get involved in a crash, the parents would use each and every possible excuse and contacts to prove that they are correct as is the kid. These scenes of kids driving vehicles are in huge numbers and increasing by leaps and bounds.

A common man cannot afford to go against the system. He has to suffer and no other alternatives, this is the fact I am posting bluntly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eclectix 1st View Post
In April I was having ...
It has happened to me more than 10 times. I go for a new set of specs and when I come back, well bikes no more. Now go in car with dad sitting in the car or I am sitting in the car when he has some work.



Regarding emergency vehicles:
I once braked hard to let an emergency vehicle pass and then someone from behind scream at me that " Why did I stop ? " . I believe that most of the road users including car drivers bike riders and all others dont have sense. At a traffic junction an ambulance has just passed after the light got red. Others come out from their respective direction and that vehicle is struck. So the traffic cop moves towards that place and as soon as he is facing different directions, all start moving from other direction despite 60 secs to go for green light. It was mess.

It just shows the culture of our nation. As I have pointed out earlier, Roads indicate the culture of the nation. And road users usaully would prove this point with precision.
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Old 9th June 2008, 20:57   #12
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My car was towed when it was just 10 days old. They damaged the number plate. My father blasted to cop who later was ready to pay back the Rs.300 that he had taken as a fine. Something very similar to amits' situation.

I believe that, in case, if a car is being towed away, it is the responsibility of the towing company and who ever is related to it in completing the towing maneuver to take proper care of the car. When we pay the full fine, it is their duty to do this. Sadly, I do not see it happening.

PS: There was a incident in Taiwan where a cop was ready to tow a Ferrari F430 but was scared as the damaged that might be caused while doing that will make him sell his towing truck and the police station to repair.

Last edited by Stratos : 9th June 2008 at 20:59.
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Old 9th June 2008, 21:06   #13
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They have started to put locks in front wheel in Pune these days. Thank god its much better than towing.
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Old 9th June 2008, 21:59   #14
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Post Edited by the Team-BHP Support : Abusive language is STRICTLY prohibited on this community, even if used indirectly (*****). Do NOT use inappropriate words on Team-BHP. A clean protocol is absolutely imperative keeping our varied audience in mind.

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Once these idiots towed my car from icici bank parking and didnt even care to leave a message that my car was being towed. when i came out, i didnt find the car and thought it was stolen. i asked the chap who was working as security guard of icici about it and he had no idea. Then i rushed to police station and found my car there. was relieved that it wasnt stolen, paid 350 bucks and left.

Best way is to buy a big car like ford endy/safari/scorpio/innova/tavera that they cant tow.

Last edited by GTO : 10th June 2008 at 14:04.
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