On a Monday morning, you hurriedly parked your car to do some quick morning errands and to get yourself a quick breakfast. When you returned to your vehicle, it is nowhere to be seen. Before you scream car theft, check the area where you left your car. Chances are, your car was parked in a no-parking zone and has been towed. Check the parking signs for clearway hours. You could have parked legally at the time you left your car, but you may have reached clearway time while you were away.
Top reasons why your car got towed
One of the main reasons why your car will be towed without your permission is that it is parked in an area where it shouldn’t be. Below are the common areas where cars usually get towed in NSW.
1. Your car was parked in a Clearway or a Special Event Clearway.
A clearway is a length of the road where parking or stopping is not allowed. It is used to improve the flow of traffic during peak hours. It can be applied to individual parking spots during some specific time of day. However, a clearway can also apply for 24 hours. They can also be considered as clearway zones for weekends or weekdays only. A clearway is usually marked by broken yellow lines.
Before you park, make sure you check for clearway signs, where the clearway times will be indicated. If you park in these clearway zones at the indicated time, your car will definitely be towed away.
Exceptions to the clearway rules are public buses, private hire vehicles, and taxis which are allowed to stop in clearway zones to pick up or drop off passengers
2. Your car was parked in a special tow-away area.
Special tow-away areas are created to aid traffic flow and get rid of vehicles that add to the chaos and congestions caused by construction activities or any special events. These tow-away areas may also be introduced to support new operating public utility vehicles. Such areas must be published in at least two newspapers to inform the public. The area must be identified and described, and the period for which it will become a special tow-away area must be indicated. There will usually be signs indicating that this is a non-parking zone.
3. Your car was parked in a designated disability parking space.
Parking spaces that are marked with the symbol for people with disabilities are set aside strictly for vehicles displaying a Mobility Parking Scheme permit. If you don’t have a permit and you park in one of these spots, your car is likely to be towed.
4. Your car was parked in a slip lane.
Slip lanes are used to improve traffic flow and to improve the safety of vehicles which are turning left. Do not stop in a slip lane, unless there are signs that indicate that parking is allowed. If you do, you risk getting your car towed. Slip lanes are usually marked by a traffic island.
5. Your car was parked in the bus lane.
Bus lanes are lanes designated for buses, but they can sometimes also be used by taxis, bicycles, motorcycles, hire cars, and vehicles operated by Roads and Maritime Services. The only cars that are allowed to stop in these lanes are buses at a bus stop. Taxis and hire cars can also stop in bus lanes to pick up or drop off passengers.
What to do when you get towed in NSW
If you find yourself having had your car towed, there is no sense getting stressed about it. Here are the things that you should do after you have established that your car has indeed been towed by the authorities.
Contact the Transport Management Centre or TMC.
If you believe that your car has been towed, contact the TMC immediately for confirmation. If you were parked in a Clearway or a Special Event Clearway, your car may have been transferred to a nearby available parking space. Do not worry if the TMC cannot give you information where your vehicle was moved the moment you call. In some busy areas, it can be challenging and may take a while to find a legal, safe, and available parking space.
You will need to pay the prescribed tow-away charge.
Regardless of how far your car was transferred, you will need to pay the prescribed tow-away charge of $203. For instance, a motorcycle may have just been moved a few meters to a footpath, but its owner will still pay the prescribed amount in full.
Aside from the tow-away charge, you may also need to pay parking fines from your local council. The penalties are for your parking offence, which is different from the tow-away fee you need to pay. A towing invoice will be issued to you separately.
Take note that you must pay the towing invoice within the time frame given by the Road and Maritime Services. Failure to do so is another offence, which is fined for $337.
Be aware of road rules in NSW.
To avoid getting towed next time, be aware of the road rules and regulations in NSW. It will definitely help if you get acquainted with the clearway zones in your area, the special tow-away zones, and other non-parking and tow-away zones. Avoid the hassle by looking out for No Parking and Clearway signs the next time you park.
For your towing and transport needs in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, contact Newcastle Towing and Transport now.
You will never know when you will need a towing service. That is why it is always handy to have a reputable Towing Service provider in your contacts list. Newcastle Towing and Transport offers 24/7 towing and transport services, for your emergency needs. Our team knows how much you value your car, so rest assured that we will treat it with utmost care.
For general towing, roadside towing, machinery towing, prestige car towing, and vehicle salvage and recovery, we can do it all for you. Call us at our towing hotline – 0404 3300 66 – for a quick and reliable response.