In the US, there will be 17 million new vehicles and more than 43 million used vehicles sold this year. That's an astounding number if you consider there will only be 4.5 million newborns in the same time period. That's 13 cars built and/or sold for each newborn child in this country this year alone!
Every day we are trying to park more and more cars in less and less space. Add to that the average Americans arrogance in the use of their vehicles & you could reasonably assume that the property owners in this country are under a full blown vehicular assault. I'm not sure how this happened but the American driving public has reached the conclusion that their rights as car owners supersede all others.
Enter, the impound tower. That's me. I don't really like that term, I would rather be known as the tow operator that does non consent towing. My job is to help those weary from the battle property owners regain and keep control of their facilities.
Like the property owner, I am constantly under assault. Many people have the mistaken notion that all tow operators that perform non consent towing are criminals or have criminalistic tendencies. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Of course there are those that look for ways to take advantage of the system but not any more than you would find in any other profession, police included. Because my business is to help these property owners defend their holdings, I not only come under attack by the car owner, but from the media, the local politicians and the police departments that don't agree with what I do even though it's the only solution that works.
The media tends to help feed the frenzy. In a lot of situations, they will word an article to create a false bias against the property owner or towing company who is only trying to defend his holdings or do his job. In every story I have ever read about a car being impounded you can find facts in the story that will lead you to the truth. The media is good at making sure these facts exist but keeping them well hidden among the different emotional levels of the story. To find them, you need to put the emotional grip of the story aside and look only at the content. Here's a perfect example.
This is an ongoing news story in Roanoke. There are bloggers that have taken up the challenge and the saga continues to grow and grow. Read this through to its end. Then come back here and I'll point something out to you.
There are three sides to any impound story.
- The property owner. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. They have businesses that need those parking facilities for their customers whether it be a fast food restaurant, an apartment complex, an office building or just a parking lot. They also have to pay for the upkeep on those lots. Asphalt maintenance is not cheap and the more cars that use the lot the faster the lot decays and needs repairs. For obvious reasons, they generally do not like being in the public eye. The last thing they want is a negative news story that may affect their business. At some point however, they lose control and are forced to act.
- The car owner. There are two types of car owners. There are car owners that have respect for other peoples private property and will never have their car towed. They pay attention, heed the warning signs and understand the rule that if you don't own it or have specific permission to use it, you need to stay off it! These types are generally good people. They pay their bills on time, they are upstanding citizens and generally have their acts together. Type two is just the opposite. This car owner's vehicle is always in need of an oil change, the tags are expired, they only do what they have to do to keep moving forward. These are the people that get caught with their pants down around their ankles. When you talk to these people, it's always someone elses fault.
- The reporter. What a great story! Human interest and all that. The paraplegic that got his van towed! It sells papers and gets people to watch the nightly news. Usually the title itself incites moral outrage. The only interest that reporter has is to sell his story. These stories are rarely unbiased and most of the time, have little actual content other than the crying pregnant mother that parked at the mini mart because it was 5 steps closer to the burger joint than the parking facility she should have parked in.
This particular story (like all the others) has one fact that is admitted to by everyone. The warning. In this particular case, there is a FOREST of signs on that property warning people to not park there. It is a fact that gets slid under the carpet over and over as they try to attack the owner of the property by saying things like, It's unfair, It's theft, The poor person was a paraplegic, Spanky is just morally corrupt, etc.
None of that matters. What matters is the property owner has asked you not to park on his property with multiple, very large and easy to read signs and they were ignored. That's trespassing. They deserved what they got and it doesn't matter if you think Spanky is a little underhanded or just flat out an opportunistic pig. His mother owns that property and he's the agent in control of it. If you pay attention to the signs and do not trespass, you will never have to meet or deal with Spanky and his crew.
Yes, I know what you are thinking. There has to be a better way. After driving a tow truck off and on for nearly 30 years, I can tell you there isn't. Warning stickers don't help, they are ignored and by this story you can also see that big red ugly signs don't work either. I've even helped property owners that have hired employees just to stand in the parking lot and tell people not to park and they are met with foul language and threats. Once that happens, the property owner finally understands. The ONLY way to solve a parking problem is to remove the offending vehicle and make it EXPENSIVE to get it back. Surprisingly, 5% to 10% of these offenders will not learn their lesson and will have their car towed again within the same year!
Here are some realities.
- No one has the power to usurp the property owners rights, not even a handicapped person.
- All parking lots are privately owned unless stated otherwise, not the other way around.
- A good tow operator can hook up and tow your car in less than 30 seconds, no matter where or how you park it.
- There is no official time limit that allows you to park anywhere you wish. Refer to rule #1. It does not matter if you were only going to park there for 5 minutes, refer to rule #3.
- It does not matter how you park your car, wheels turned, locked up tight, backed in, even upside down! You cannot defeat me. See rule #3.
- You are only a customer as long as you are on the property. Purchasing a hamburger does not entitle you to in and out privileges or free all day parking. Once you walk off the property, you are no longer a customer. Again, see rules #1, #2, and #3.
- It's ok to park in a fire lane if you're pregnant & you need to unload your groceries - Again, rule #3, groceries and all.