DBKL is giving motorists a headache by clamping cars for not paying their parking fee when a summons will do.
By YS Chan
Wednesday, Jan 3, 2017 is likely to stay in my memory for a long time; more so for the many motorists who had parked their cars at Fraser Business Park in Jalan Yew Kuala Lumpur, that morning.
I walked past a Perodua Myvi with the rear right wheel clamped. The lady seated behind the steering wheel asked me why her car had been clamped.
I turned around and explained to her what I knew. Early last month, I had expressed my opinion in “Unpaid traffic summonses amounting to billions?” (Free Malaysia Today, Dec 4).
I had stated that City Hall (DBKL) had begun clamping cars with more than five outstanding summonses and 4,459 such offenders had been blacklisted since 2013.
Vehicles blacklisted will be clamped even if they are parked legally in a parking bay and they are also denied road tax renewal at the Road Transport Department (JPJ).
As such, I told her that the registration number of her car had probably been blacklisted by DBKL and her car could only be unclamped if the outstanding summonses were settled.
I left in a hurry to complete an errand and returned five minutes later. The woman motorist was no longer there.
However, I noticed another lady standing by the road and looking forlorn.
It turned out that her car, a Honda City, parked a few lots away had also been clamped. I gave her the same explanation and told her to go to the DBKL office if the phone numbers to call listed on the clamp did not work.
I then viewed the street and was shocked to find that many cars were clamped, including a Honda CRV, a Proton Savy, another Perodua MyVi and a BMW 3 series.
I called the three telephone numbers displayed on the clamp. I could not get through to the first number, 03-41628672. No one picked up on the other two numbers, 019-3330043 and 019-9897822 and my calls were not returned.
Mercifully, a Toyota Innova with “Peronda Parkir DBKL” emblazoned on the doors came along.
The affected drivers later informed me they had to pay RM50 for unclamping and another RM50 for the compound fine – all because they did not pay for parking or didn’t park within the lot.
The compound fine is RM50 if paid within 15 days, and RM100 after that. While this may be reasonable, it is totally unacceptable for the cars to be clamped, which causes the owners great anxiety. It is possible that some may suffer a heart attack or a stroke from the undue pressure.
But I would later discover that the worst was yet to come.
While having lunch at the corner coffee shop, I spotted a DBKL tow truck reversing into position to remove a Perodua MyVi parked on a designated lot.
I asked one of the enforcement officers why the car had to be towed away and was told it was because the car had been there since the day before.
I then noticed that the car next to it, a Perodua Kenari was also clamped. I decided to read the notices of offence inside the plastic envelope stuck under the wiper blade.
There was a notice for non-payment for parking and a supplementary notice that the car could be towed away if no action was taken by the driver within four hours.
The supplementary notice is used for three types of offences – non payment for parking, not parking within a designated lot and obstruction.
It is hard for the driver to guess what action would be taken. If the phone numbers shown on the clamp are unreachable, should the driver proceed to buy a parking coupon?
As the car is clamped, there is no way to reposition the car or drive away if it is obstructing traffic. The notice should have informed the driver to wait near the car for enforcement officers to return.
In any case, it is totally unnecessary to clamp the car for non-payment of parking or illegal parking. Only vehicles that are actually obstructing traffic should be towed away.
The enforcement method of DBKL at Fraser Park was nothing short of draconian, especially when smooth traffic flow was not an issue.
It had caused the affected motorists unnecessary hardship when many areas in the city centre need greater attention. Obviously, DBKL has got its priorities wrong again.
It was reported that there were 5.4 million unpaid summonses issued by DBKL since 2007, and mayor Mhd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz had announced discounts to encourage offenders to pay up.
Summonses issued from 2007 to 2011 may be settled for as low as RM10 each, those from 2012 to 2014 for RM20 each, and those from 2015 for RM30 each.
It should have been the reverse with RM30 for the oldest summonses and RM10 for the most recent.
But now DBKL is not only imposing compound fines of RM50 to RM100; it is also slapping motorists with a RM50 fee for unclamping.
But the motorists’ biggest pain is finding their cars clamped. Although my car is usually parked safely in a basement, I can feel the anguish suffered by these unfortunate motorists.
YS Chan is an FMT reader.
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