Number of cars towed has fallen

Five years ago twice as many cars were towed by the police

The number of cars being towed has dropped significantly. Last year, the total was 16,795 but in 2013 the number was more than twice that, at 32,778. In the first half of 2017, some 8,068 cars were towed.

Cars are most often removed from blue zones, sidewalks and intersections. The drop in towing comes despite the expansion of marked parking zones.

Metropolitan Police director Eduard Šuster told daily Pražský deník that the common perception that more cars are towed each year is simply not supported by statistics. “It's not true,” he said.

“Over five years, the number has fallen by half,” he said.

In the established blue zones for residents in Prague 1, 2, 3 and 7, people respect the rules about 90 percent of the time.

Šuster said that in newer parking zones, the police only respond to complaints. But sometimes even when a car has been parked so long that grass is growing around the tires, it turns out the parking fee has been paid so there is no cause to move the car.

Two-thirds of the towing done is from blue zones, and last year it accounted for 10,071 cases. This was mostly from the long-established paid parking zones in Prague 1, 2, 3 and 7. Another 5,156 cases concerned cars standing at intersections or on the pavement. A third group is cars in reserved parking spaces such as for embassies or the disabled, accounting for 996 cases.

There are other resolutions for parking offenses aside from towing. These include a boot, charging a fine on the spot or sending a notification. The city registered some 170,200 parking-related incidents annually, so towing is not the most common solution.

Whether or not a car is towed in on the initiative of the police. It is required when roadwork needs to done or when events such as street cleaning, parades or block parties take place.

Penalties for towing have not gone up since 2013. The basic fee is Kč 1,900. That is cut to Kč 1,250 if the driver turns up before the car is removed. It goes up to Kč 3,800 if the cars is brought back. If it has to be moved for street cleaning, the fee is Kč 1,300.

Some city officials have been calling for the fees to increase as the costs have gone up.

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