Every time I travel to different country, I tried hard to understand how the society works. This time, I want to seek for some help to understand “car towing at owner’s expense” terms displayed in many private properties.
Look at these plates (which I took when I visited Cisco).
© Jian Shuo Wang
© Jian Shuo Wang
And here (in Creative Labs).
All these notice states that “Unauthorized Vehicles will be towed away at vehicle owner’s expense. This kind of plates are everywhere. So I am curious about it and did some research.
On these plates, I found the magic number: California Vehicle Code 22658. What is that? Specifically, what is the 22658-a?
A simple search to this number yield the following result:
22658. (a) ( )1 The owner or person in lawful possession of private property, including an association of a common interest development as defined in Section 1351 of the Civil Code, may cause the removal of a vehicle parked on the property to a storage facility that meets the requirements of subdivision (n) under any of the following circumstances:
(1) There is displayed, in plain view at all entrances to the property, a sign not less than 17 inches by 22 inches in size, with lettering not less than one inch in height, prohibiting public parking and indicating that vehicles will be removed at the owner’s expense, and containing the telephone number of the local traffic law enforcement agency and the name and telephone number of each towing company that is a party to a written general towing authorization agreement with the owner or person in lawful possession of the property. The sign may also indicate that a citation may also be issued for the violation.
Another Example of Law and Law Enforcement
This is another interesting sign about law and enforcement (FYI, the other one was “The Right to Refuse Service to Anyone”).
Let me try to “guess” how it works, and please tell me if my assumption is not correct.
All properties in U.S has an owner. Either individual/family, or company, organizations, or government (all kinds of government).
All private properties are protected by law. The property owner (like the companies in this case) has the right on this land to remove any violating vehicle. There are also some commercial service, like Pro-star Towing in the first plate, who are willing to help property owners to enforce their right.
If it is allowed by a law (like CVC 22658), the tower company can directly tow the vehicle to a location that complies to the law (there are other terms in 22658), and the owner of the vehicle has to pay for that fee.
So the property owner is happy since they enjoy their rights (no one can park illegally there), and the towing company is happy (making money!). Only the owner of the car is unhappy – paying money, and take all the trouble to bring it back, so they will avoid it.
Is that correct?
Thought about China’s Law System
The reason I thought about this was about the parking in Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Parking is a problem there. It is chaos I would say. There are illegal parking everywhere, some were even creative enough to park it in the middle of a road or corner of a road, thus no other cars are able to leave.
The security guards worked very hard to prevent it from happening, but how can they possibly enforce that with such a big campus and just 10s of people?
So they put all kinds of stuff to the key locations on campus – signs, chairs, stones, ropes, flags – almost everything to pre-occupy those locations so it is hard for cars to park there. That makes the whole campus a mess. As you can imagine, that does not work. They put a chair at the road side, wishing drivers see the chair and park somewhere else, but cars just park side by side with the chair – making the road narrower.
Of cause, the most useless thing is a “No Parking” sign.
Police Enforcement, or Owner Enforcement
Police does not work so well. First, there is no law or even custom to say the land is owned by someone. In technical terms, no one in this country owns any land, so they don’t have any rights. Secondly, if you want to remove some vehecle, call a police. This may turn police into a big towing company (using tax payer’s money).
I think the California way works well even in China’s environment.
Your Thoughts or Experience?
I clearly understand as a visitor, there are still a lot for me to explorer. If you happen to be a lawyer and know more about it, would you please share more thoughts about it? I am also interested in knowing anyone had the experience to be towed, or has enforced such towing before.
Is there any side effect (or negative effect) of this law?
P.S. Toys for Happy Holiday
Let me share the toys Wendy and I liked a lot 2 years ago. We put them into hidden place to avoid Yifan. :-) Yifan has his own toys.
© Jian Shuo Wang