As a business owner, one of the things you should consider is how you'll enforce the parking regulations on your property. Not only should you be attentive to the unauthorized use of reserved parking spaces, you should also be aware of unsafe parking practices such as blocking fire lanes, parking on medians and other issues. If you're new to having your own property, here are some things you should know about towing illegally or problematically parked cars.
You Need Plenty Of Signs
If you've decided to start enforcing your parking regulations by having offending cars towed, you need to make sure that your lot is properly labeled first. While every state might have its own regulations about the specific signage details, there are a few basic guidelines to follow.
Place multiple signs throughout the parking lot, including at every entrance, labeling your parking area as a tow-enforced parking lot. The sign should also detail who is authorized to park in the lot, such as business patrons only, and what hours the towing is enforced. If you only want to enforce towing when the business is open, list those hours. Otherwise, state that it is 24-hour enforcement.
You'll also want signs everywhere that parking is prohibited or restricted. Handicapped parking spaces should be clearly marked, and any areas where people are not permitted to park, such as fire lanes or near fire exits, should be posted as well.
You Need A Towing Company
It's often easiest for businesses to enforce towing when they work with a single towing company exclusively. One of the most important things to look for is a towing company with a secured lot for storing the vehicles. That way, there's no concern about liability for anything happening to the car while it's awaiting recovery by the owner.
You may also find that your state has limitations on how far the car can be towed from your parking lot. For example, in the state of California, towing companies can't take a car to a storage lot that's more than ten miles away from where the car was parked. Your local traffic law enforcement officers can tell you what the regulation is where you live, but a locally licensed towing company will likely know as well.
When you lock in a service contract with a local towing company, order some custom signs that include the towing company's name, address and phone number. If there's a flat rate for recovery of the vehicle, you can even detail that. Otherwise, consider posting that the recovery fee varies based on storage time.
Enforce The Towing Consistently
If you're going to make your parking lot a towing-enforced zone, you'll want to be sure that you're enforcing the towing standards consistently. Whether the towing company you work with monitors the lot or you need to have someone on staff keep track of the cars and call when a tow is necessary, make sure that the standards are applied in the same manner to every car. This eliminates the risk of any kind of civil liability suit for inconsistent towing practices. Your towing company can help you establish procedures that ensure timely and reliable communication and towing every day.
With these tips, you can establish a tow-away zone and towing enforcement standards for your company's lot. This will reduce the risk of unauthorized or problematic parking as well as ensure safety for all of your customers and guests. Find a local towing company, such as Country City Towing, that you are comfortable with and work together to develop a solid and reasonable plan for implementation, then invest in the signs and communication tools necessary to ensure that everyone knows what to expect.