x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Towed cars up sharply in the capital

The municipality towed nearly 40 per cent more abandoned cars last year than in 2008, evidence of "uncivilised" behaviour.

ABU DHABI // The municipality towed nearly 40 per cent more abandoned cars last year than in 2008, evidence of "uncivilised" behaviour, authorities said yesterday. It is an alarming trend, Abu Dhabi Municipality said in a press release, urging owners not to monopolise precious parking spots by leaving cars for long periods and reminding residents to report such violations. "Such a practice is considered an encroachment on the public right, an uncivilised phenomenon disfiguring the beautiful appearance of roads and gardens, a source of inconvenience to the public and a pollutant to the environment," the statement read.

The statistics showed that 1,595 abandoned vehicles were towed in 2009, up from 1,140 in 2008. Offenders sometimes leave their vehicles in car parks for several weeks while trying to sell them, authorities said. Inspectors place a warning sticker on vehicles that have not moved in two weeks. If the vehicles are not moved in the following 24 hours, the vehicles are towed and impounded at lots in Al Mafraq or Al Wathba.

Owners who wish to retrieve their cars must pay the towing fees and a fine that may exceed Dh2,000 (US$540), according to the municipality. The impounded car can also be auctioned off. Residents can report abandoned cars by dialling 993. mkwong@thenational.ae