It's very rare that a single traffic violation garners attention around the globe, but that is exactly what happened earlier this month when an Israeli woman was given a traffic ticket under circumstances that can best be described as unbelievable.
According to reports, a student in Tel Aviv returned to her apartment one evening, parking her car in a legal space that she had occupied multiple times over the last year and a half. However, when she went outside, she discovered that not only was her car missing, but that the otherwise legal space where she parked had somehow been transformed into a handicapped parking space in a matter of mere hours.
Understandably confused, she called the local parking office to learn more about the circumstances under which her car was towed, namely why no advance notice was provided. Instead of an explanation, she was accused of lying, and told to fill out some forms and call the impound lot.
Here she learned that she would have to pay a towing fee of nearly $95, as well as a $270 parking ticket.
Filled with frustration and eager to uncover the truth, the woman went to the building across the street and asked security personnel if they had footage of the street during the hours in which her car was towed.
It turns out that they did, and the footage clearly shows two city workers arriving at the space and proceeding to paint a handicapped space around her car, changing its designation within a matter of five minutes. Her car was then towed a short time later.
Wisely, the woman posted the footage to her Facebook page and it soon amassed thousands of shares around Israel and across the globe. The national news even reported on the story.
Soon thereafter, the Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv apologized for the incident, claiming that while workers paint spaces in that manner all the time, they are supposed to inform the parking inspectors' office such that any car that was legally parked there before the painting will not be ticketed and towed.
The woman's car was released and the fines were all waived. Interestingly, she also received a personalized apology from the Mayor of Tel Aviv on her Facebook page.
Stay tuned for updates on this fascinating case from our New York vehicle traffic law blog ...
If you have been issued a traffic violation, fight to keep your driving privileges and your insurance premiums as low as possible. Consider contacting an attorney who understands New York's confusing legal system, and who can help you evaluate your options and make the right decisions.
This post was provided for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice.
The Times of Israel, "Parking debacle turns viral sensation," Greg Tepper, Feb. 5, 2013