There’s no shortage of irritating events and obstructions that you encounter when you’re driving. Comedians have an entire routine about the hazards and irritants that occur on the road. Cars that don’t signal, cars that never turn off their signal, cyclists who ride closer to the road than they should, ignorant joggers obsessively listening to earphones.
Even red lights can prove to be an irritant – particularly when they’re no synched properly. For one neighborhood, if can take up to a million dollars to properly sych the light system, forcing the city to just ignore the problem rather than fix it.
Virtually nothing is more annoying than an illegally parked car. Not only does a car sitting by a driveway create an obstruction, the driver’s carelessness can also be extremely dangerous when they block access to fire hydrants. They also generally interupt the proper flow of traffic. While parking service providers can alleviate the problem to a certain degree, there are still some drivers who don’t follow the rules and park their cars anywhere regardless of the laws.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to report illegally parked cars. Below are six methods on how to report a car parked illegally:
1. Gathering Information
For anyone learning how to report a car parked illegally, it’s crucial to gather as much information about the car. Police traffic cameras and other local cameras outside stores and streets have become far more advance other the years. You only need to watch an episode of Law and Order: SVU to see a scene in which the cops track a car via a traffic camera outside a bodega.
There are, however, blindspots. That’s where your information becomes crucial. Not only will this allow officers to recognize the car, but also be able to record the driver and visi t them should they leave before cops arrive on the scene.
This includes writing down every noticeable bit of information you can about the vehicle. Make, model, license plate and location are key. But it’s also useful to write down any damage to the vehicle, for instance if it has dents or scratches. If the license plate is from another state, it’s important to make not of that state as well.
2. Take Photographs
It’s become a lot easier to take pictures since the dawn of the cell phone. Rather than write down the information, one can document all the information authorities may need with a camera. It’s not always easy to prove a car was illegally parked at a specific time just because you have the information written down. It’s much more difficult to argue with a picture. It’s just as good as a police camera.
Be sure to document the car’s license plate as well as their location. If they’re near a street sign, this is much easier. If not and they happen to be parked near an expired meter, this is equally useful. A lot of meters, however, don’t read expired times visibly anymore, so use any other ways you can to display their crime.
It’s also possible to show the car next to a no parking sign or a specific address. If the car is parked on a street that requires a parking sticker and lacks one, be sure to get a clear photo of that.
3. Log The Time
Certain parking spaces are legal depending on the time of day. If the car is parked when it shouldn’t, do whatever possible to document that time. This can be as easy as having a timer on your phone – especially easy with a cell phone – to taking a clear shot of your watch.
Some cities restrict commercial vehicles overnight, so no timer is necessary, as the dark of night will prove the illegallity. However, residential cars sometimes can’t park in certain spots after four p.m., so displaying the time might be a little more difficult.
4. Filing a Report Online
A lot of cities, particularly larger ones, allow you to report an illegally parked car with a form. Search “report illegal parking” and find the page. It’s important, however, that the site is actually from the government. This can easily be identified with the site ending in “.gov” or “.us” rather than “.com”.
Such sites have two options – the ability to select information or blank boxes to fill in yourself. The more specific information you have, the more likely police will be able to track the owner of the car down.Even if you’re city allows an online option, the information you supply may not be enough, so be prepared for police officers to visit you to require what they need. Alternately, some cities have twitter or facebook accounts for you to upload the information you have.
The most old fashioned way still availible is to call your local officials to report the car. Many cities have separate numbers than the rest of law enforcement to report a car.
6. Talk to a Cop
They say there’s never a cop around when you need one. Should you happen to be fortunate to pass one in the street however, you can bypass all the other steps by just reporting the car directly. If the car is truly a menace, you may find it necessary to go to a local precinct to file a complaint.