Thursday, January 6, 2011

5 Hrs In Malaysia, 30 Hrs In UK

A Man Sits In His For 5 Hours To Prevent It From Being Taken Away

Saravanan Abbu
NO WAY! Saravanan's colleagues taking turns to sit in the car while negotiations were ongoing at the police station. They were afraid it would have been towed away — Pic: Gan Jin Liang

PETALING JAYA: A man whose car was about to be towed away by Petaling Jaya City Council officers for parking on a yellow line created a ruckus when he refused to get out of his vehicle.
"You can't tow my car with me in it. I won't get out," he insisted during the five-hour standoff.
The fiasco began about 12.30pm yesterday when credit services assistant manager Saravanan Abbu, 35, was having lunch at a restaurant in Section 8 when he saw council officers attempting to tow away his illegally-parked Honda City.
He rushed to his car and apologised to the council officers who were hooking up his car to a tow truck.
He pleaded with them to issue him a summons instead.
When they ignored his plea, and knowing a car cannot be towed with a passenger inside, he got into the driver's seat.
"I wouldn't have done so if the car was already hooked up to the truck and moving.
"I would have gladly acknowledged my fault and followed procedures," said Saravanan, adding the officers were only in the midst of hooking up the car to the truck and they could have considered his plea.
"They hadn't towed it yet, but still they wouldn't accept my plea for a straightforward summons, which is why I decided to sit in the car."
To break the impasse, police were called in.
"We were informed this standoff was causing traffic congestion. So, we urged both parties to go to the PJ police headquarters instead to settle the matter," said one of the police officers called to the scene.
He said police could not interfere in such a case as all they could do was provide security if things went out of control.
"The council has its own guidelines and rules. We can't interfere."
At the PJ police headquarters, both parties lodged separate reports on the incident.
The council officers alleged Saravanan was obstructing when they were carrying out their duties while Saravanan's complaint was against them attempting to tow away his car despite his early presence at the scene.
After an hour of discussion mediated by an inspector at the police headquarters, the matter was eventually settled with Saravanan paying a RM270 fine, after negotiating it down from RM310.
While these negotiations took place, Saravanan's colleagues took turns to sit in the car as he was afraid it would be towed while he was away.
Saravanan remains unhappy with the council and plans to take the case further.
"All I care now is I've got back my car and I need to get back to work."
Said council spokesperson: "We were only carrying out our duties following the rules. He was obstructing our duties and wasting our time.
"We had to call the police as Saravanan was adamant on staying in his car despite numerous attempts by our officers to explain our regulations to him."


Similar Cases In UK Too

Reported on Aug 17, 2010
HAROON ZAFARYAB was returning from Ramadan prayers last August when he found his car clamped for being parked illegally on private property.
The Daily Mail had then reported Haroon was met by an official who demanded £100 (RM477) for the clamping fine and an extra £265 for a tow truck which had been called to haul his Toyota Prius away even though the car was clearly still there.
While admitting he had failed to see a small notice saying he had parked on private property, Haroon said he knew the officials were trying to rip him off.
Furious at the cost and knowing a car cannot be towed with a passenger inside, he decided to get into the driver's seat in protest.
So he sat inside for 30 hours to prevent it from being towed away. Two tow trucks turned up for an around-the-clock watch on Haroon.
Residents in the local area cheered Haroon on and provided him with refreshments and treats to keep his energy up. Some of his friends also arrived to show their support.
As he was planted inside the vehicle, police clamped all four wheels and stuck about 40 more tickets onto the windshield, amounting to £3,565 in fines.
Haroon even called lawyers, who said the police were just trying to scare him. They advised him to stick it out.
Finally, after 30 hours, his car was finally released after he paid a £100 ($156) fine for parking on private land without a permit.


Reported on Sept 23, 2008
ANOTHER British driver had also managed to escape paying a parking fine of £250 in September 2008 by refusing to leave his car for almost three hours.
Tow truck workers, who had loaded his BMW 5 Series onto their truck, gave in and lowered it back down after the man claimed to have been asleep in the back seat.
Known as Mr Shah , the 29-year-old personal trainer later admitted he had actually hopped onto the tow truck and got into the driver's seat as the attendants looked the other way.
Alerted by his neighbours of his car being loaded onto the truck, he later described the feat as a victory escaping the fine. It would have cost him £250 if they had taken it to the pound.
He admitted he was in the wrong but said he had not understood the parking signs near his West London house when he parked on a single yellow line in Beaconsfield Terrace Road, West Kensington.
Not only refusing to get out, he also sat in the car reading the papers, listening to music and even ordered a sandwich from the cafe nearby.
The police came around and the owner of the tow company arrived but Shah was still adamant, and in the end, they got frustrated and released the car.


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