Where tow trucks do a roaring trade
ILLEGALLY parked cars are being hauled off Sydney Rd at a rate of 29 per week, with the popular shopping strip the worst spot for towaways in the state.
Figures released by VicRoads show there have been 1217 vehicles removed from the busy clearway this year alone as drivers flaunt parking restrictions during peak periods.
Johnston St, Fitzroy was the second busiest spot for tow truck drivers with 694 cars taken away while 522 vehicles were dragged off Victoria St, Richmond.
There are 77 clearways, stretches of road where parking is banned during busy hours, across Melbourne and about 10,000 cars are towed away from these streets every year.
“When you park in a clearway, you’re effectively reducing the capacity of the road by up to 50 per cent, causing frustration for drivers getting to and beyond local shopping centres, and potentially delaying emergency vehicles,” VicRoads director of journey services Sameem Moslih said.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than being stuck in peak-hour traffic and seeing a single parked car in a clearway zone.
“It’s important that drivers obey clearway zones, so that everyone can get to where they need to be as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Motorists who have their car towed in a clearway are charged a $334 release fee by VicRoads but parking fines are only handed out by local councils.
RACV roads and traffic manager Dave Jones said clearways were important in reducing congestion across inner-city and middle suburbs with less road space.
“We need to ensure there’s enough road space for moving people in cars, bikes and all forms of transport,” he said.
“On Sydney Rd we’ve clearly observed people are being selfish and stopping in to get a coffee which becomes a danger to riders.
“It is a safety issue and an inconvenience when cars take advantage of what should be a lane of traffic for motorists.”
Mr Jones said authorities should work together to stamp out the problem
“They need police, councils and VicRoads all working together to fine people who are illegally parked in that period,” he said.
“We need to be constantly reviewing the clearways we’ve got and looking at a whole lot of inner-city routes.”