Recently central government has amended the traffic laws in India. Amended provisions are more strict in nature compared to previous provisions, penalty amount is also very high than previous penalties. Parking a vehicle at non parking zone creates problem to other people. To avoid these problems police may tow your vehicle if it is parked in the non parking zone. But during this traffic police has to follow some procedures before towing your vehicle.
In this article we will discuss what to do when police tow your vehicle from a non parking zone. We will also look into various legal provisions under different Acts. Rules about the towing are not comprehensive in India, different cities have some difference in their rules. So we will also look into towing rules about in some major cities.
Rules about parking vehicle
As per Rule 15 of the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989, a vehicle should be parked in such a way that it will not cause any kind of danger or inconvenience to other.
In Rule 15 (2) of this Act it has been mentioned that driver should not park his vehicle[i] :
- at or near a road crossing, a bend, top of a hill or a humpbacked bridge;
- on a foot-path;
- near a traffic light or pedestrian crossing;
- in a main road or one carrying fast traffic;
- Opposite to another parked vehicle or as obstruction to other vehicle;
- alongside another parked vehicle;
- on roads or at places or roads where there is a continuous white line with or without a broken line;
- near a bus stop, school or hospital entrance or blocking a traffic sign or entrance to a premises or a fire hydrant;
- on the wrong side of the road;
- where parking is prohibited;
- away from the edge of the footpath.
Rules about towing a vehicle
If you have parked your vehicle in such places mentioned in Rule 15 (2) of the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989, traffic police may tow your vehicle. But there are some conditions and rules about towing a vehicle which are given in the Rule 20 of the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989. These rules are not only for the police while towing a vehicle, these rules are general rules which one should follow while towing any vehicle.
General procedure which traffic police follows
Whenever police tow a vehicle from the non parking zone, they need to follow some procedure. When traffic police finds a vehicle parked in the non parking zone or in such place which is causing danger or inconvenience to others they follow the following procedure:
- First of all according to towing rules of many cities whenever such vehicle is there, police should announce its details like number, colour, type of vehicle etc. on loudspeaker.
- If there is no response to announcement then police should take picture of the vehicle.
- After taking of picture police will write a panchanama. They will also need to write details about where they will deposit the towed vehicle on the road from where they have towed the vehicle.
These rules are not specifically mentioned anywhere in any act but various State Governments and city traffic police have their own rules on parking and towing such vehicles.
What you should do if your vehicle is towed by police?
If you are unaware that your vehicle has been towed by police or someone else you should contact to the nearest police station or you can contact them on phone on police helpline number. Before this you should check that whether there is anything written on the road where you had parked your vehicle. If you find anything written on the road contact police on the given details. Also you will find a traffic police near such place from where vehicle is towed you can ask him about your vehicle.
Your vehicle is towed from a non parking zone which clearly means that you have not followed the law and you need pay the penalty charges for this. In this case you need to pay the Challan as per the rules. It will be based on many factors such as weight of vehicle and number of days for which vehicle was towed etc.
Different cities and their procedure to tow vehicle from non parking zone
Mumbai traffic police issue various rules about parking and towing of vehicle from time to time. They publish such rules on their website also. They follow similar kind of procedure before towing vehicle as mentioned above. In 2017 Joint commissioner (traffic) introduced new rules, according to which before towing it is mandatory to announce on loudspeaker. Also according to these rules if owner of vehicle would come while towing, the vehicle will be released and he only needs to pay fine for parking in non parking zone and not for the towing charges.[ii]
In Delhi, for the areas which come under Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), the parking regulation is under Municipal Corporation. Most of the procedure is same as mentioned above. There are some different procedures like posting of warning sign or poster on board, parking of towed vehicle within ten miles.[iii]
Bangalore Traffic Police also follows the procedure similar to that of the procedures followed by the traffic police in Delhi and Mumbai.
In this article we discussed what can be done when vehicle is towed by police from non parking zone. There is no particular law on towing procedure in India. Different states and cities have their own rules about parking and towing of vehicle. There is a need for common procedure for parking and towing vehicle in India.
“The views of the authors are personal“
[i]Rule 15 of the Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989.
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