City workers tow car after painting ‘handicapped parking’ markings around it
A Tel Aviv woman says that surveillance video proves that city workers used paint to designate her car’s parking spot as being reserved for disabled before having it towed.
In video posted to Facebook on Monday night, several workers are seen painting white lines around Hila Ben Baruch’s car and then adding a the universal symbol of a wheelchair behind the car to denote a disabled parking spot.
Later in the video, a tow truck arrives to lift the car from its space and carries it away.
“While my car was parked in a [legal] blue-and-white spot, two municipal workers came by and signposted it as handicapped parking!” she wrote. “In a heartbeat they repainted the curb, from blue and white to gray. That’s it. Simple.”
“Within 5 minutes they turned me into a criminal. But who cares? The important thing is that Tel Aviv sucked some more blood.”
According to Haaretz, Ben Baruch was told that she would have to pay 1,000 Israeli New Sheqels in fines and 350 Israeli New Sheqels to cover the cost of towing — a total of about $365.
After she presented video recorded by nearby security cameras, the city of Tel Aviv apologized to Ben Baruch and dropped the fines.
“This was indeed a serious error, and schlemielism that is unacceptable to the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality,” a statement from the city said. “We apologize for the distress and will examine our conduct for the future, so that these kinds of things won’t happen again.”
“This was a severe mistake and a case of incompetence that the city of Tel Aviv does not accept – We apologize for the distress caused by the incident and we are examining the case so that such incidents do not happen again in the future,” Tel Aviv officials explained in statement to The Jerusalem Post.
“The contractor who arrived at the scene marked it as a handicapped spot, but, contrary to procedure did not notify the city inspection department,” the statement continued. “Three days before the incident a sign was posted at the site stating that it is a handicapped parking spot.”
For her part, Ben Baruch is calling on others to take action if they feel wronged by the city.
“I don’t plan to keep quiet, not even for a moment, or to rest or to cam down,” she said. “I will initiate legal proceedings over the injustice and the mental distress, but more than anything over your offenses. And I call on anyone reading this post to pass it on, not to remain silent if something similar happened to you, simply not to despair.”
Watch this video, uploaded on Feb. 4, 2013.