The Unfortunate State of the ‘Common Man’

by tybmmjourno

On a Friday afternoon, a friend of mine and I were sitting at Cafe Coffee Day (CCD), Chowpatty. A little later, we realised that her Scooty had disappeared. We asked the boys, who works at the cafe about it, and he told us that there is a ‘No Parking’ Sign here, while the other said that the parking spot is only for four wheelers and not two wheelers.  At the place, where the scooty was parked there was no mark by the towing guys (chalk mark that is generally drawn), hence suspecting them to take it away was out. We walked a little ahead hoping to find the scooty parked around, somehow. Two policemen were standing near New Yorkers, a famous eating joint at Chowpatty. We went to them and informed them about the incident. They asked us to go to a traffic police man standing nearby, as a towing truck had passed from there a few minutes ago and picked up a few cars. They also told us to ask him for the Nana Chowk tow station number, so we can call them and ask if the scooty is there. When we asked the Traffic Police man, he said, “I don’t have the number,” and asked us to go to Nana Chowk and check.

When we reached Nana Chowk, we found the scooty, among the many vehicle parked. We tell the man sitting at the counter (where one has to pay for the towed vehicle or fine along with two other men), about the vehicle that was towed. He asks us to pay Rs. 200, (Rs. 100 for the fine and Rs. 100 for the Towing charge). As per the Mumbai Traffic Police website, the fine should Rs. 100 for a two-wheeler. We questioned them about this and they chose to ignore it. When we refused to pay more than Rs. 100, they said that won’t do and we have to pay the amount told by them. In order to get a clarification, we asked them why was our vehicle towed and not the other four-wheelers and two-wheelers that were parked at the ‘No Parking’ area (offence- 15(2) RRR 177 MVA) and pavement (offence- 15(2)(ii)RRR 177 MVA) respectively, they responded by saying that, our vehicle was parked at a cab stand, which was not the truth. We had parked it at a ‘No Parking’ area (not that we are proud of that). We also questioned them as to why wasn’t any mark put around the area so that we would know that our vehicle was towed, which is generally done, they ignored the question and stayed mum.

They prepared the receipt and gave it to us. When we said we would pay Rs.100 and not Rs. 200 and pointed out at their mistakes, they replied by saying, “Don’t take away your vehicle” and tried to snatch the receipt from us. When we refused to give it, as we wanted them to answer our question first, they started talking in a high tone, said, “HUD!!” and snatched the receipt. They also told us to go to the court.

My friend was taken aback and scared by the way they spoke and paid them the amount and took her vehicle. But the ill treatment we suffered, for just asking questions like ‘why did you tow our vehicle and not the others?’, ‘why wasn’t there a mark with the chalk, so that we would know that the vehicle has been towed?’ and ‘is parking on the footpath allowed?’

Their behaviour came as a shock to us.

As per the Mumbai Traffic Police Offences, parking at a bus stop and pavement is illegal, yet many vehicles are parked there and are not towed. But most vehicles are towed and are fined for ‘parking at cab stands’. Traffic Policemen do not have numbers of stations, hard to believe.  So this incident taught me that parking at bus stops, pavements, alongside another vehicle is acceptable (as per the Mumbai Traffic Police headquarters penalties, it is an offence), the fine put up on the Mumbai Traffic Police website(which was last updated in January) is wrong (as the price is different when we have to pay) and the ‘common man’ does not have a say or the right to get a clarification.

Parking Offences

Nature of Offence

Legal Provision

Penalty (Rs)

Parking in flow of traffic

22(a) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking away from footpath

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking against flow of traffic

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Obstruction by parking

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking on taxi stand

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking in not prescribed manner

15(1) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking at corner

15(i) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking within 15 meters on either side of bus stop

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parking on bridge

15(2) (i) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parked at traffic island

15(i) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parked in No Parking area

15(2) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parked on pedestrian crossing

15(2)(iii) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parked on footpath

15(2)(ii) RRR
177 MVA

100

Parked in front of gate

15(2)(viii) RRR
177 MVA

100

Causing obstruction to traffic by parking

15(1) RRR
177 MVA

100

RRR = Rules of Road Regulations 1989
MVA = Motor Vehicles Act 1988

CHARGES OF TOWING OF VEHICLES

Sr. No

Vehicle

Charges

1

Two Wheeler

100

2

Car , Jeep, Taxi, Auto Richshaw

200

3

Truck,Tanker,Trailor

600

ALICE PETER
TYBMM JOURNALISM
SOPHIA COLLEGE FOR WOMEN

http://trafficpolicemumbai.org/Offences_Parking.htm

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