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San Francisco drivers can now get textual content alerts earlier than automobile is towed

Drivers in San Francisco, California, will now obtain a textual content earlier than their car is towed, making it the primary metropolis to impose such an initiative.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) started “Text Before Tow” on Wednesday as a pilot program.

In a press launch, the SFMTA mentioned that the pilot program will apply to 4 situations the place a car could be towed within the metropolis, which embrace parking on the road for greater than 72 hours; blocking a driveway; parking in a development zone; and parking in a short lived no-park zone. According to the press launch, “peak-hour tow-away lanes, hazards, yellow or white zones and all different violations,” are usually not included within the new program.

“These classes symbolize 27% of all autos towed in 2020, roughly 12,500,” the SFMTA mentioned in a press launch.

The SFMTA has created a web-based type for drivers to join the “Text Before Tow” program. Drivers will likely be prompted to enter their title, telephone quantity, e-mail handle, license plate quantity, license plate state and car registration handle. The type additionally asks drivers to supply their metropolis, state, and zip code. It additionally requires drivers to comply with a number of guidelines and rules.

After signing up for this system, drivers which have violated one of many 4 towing situations will obtain a take a look at that their car is about to be towed. A tow truck will likely be dispatched to the car’s location on the identical time that the textual content is shipped, in accordance with the press launch. After receiving the textual content, the driving force can return to their car and transfer it if they can arrive earlier than it’s positioned on the tow truck. However, the driving force will nonetheless obtain a quotation for the particular parking violation.

The SFMTA mentioned that the textual content is not going to present drivers with a “countdown,” noting that it is dependent upon “the journey time of the tow truck, which could possibly be as few as 5 minutes.” If a car has been hooked as much as the tow truck, the driving force will likely be unable to cease it, but when they arrive beforehand, the car is not going to be towed.

Drivers in San Francisco can now join a program to obtain a textual content earlier than their car is towed. The above picture exhibits a no parking lot on a highway in San Francisco, California on September 15, 2018.
Robert Alexander/Getty

“I’m thrilled to see a program right here in San Francisco that prioritizes making life just a bit bit simpler for all of us,” SFMTA Director Manny Yekutiel mentioned within the press launch. “It is rewarding to see not solely a technological development that could be a first of-its-kind, however one which will likely be a recreation changer in terms of curbing the bills that include a tow for on a regular basis folks.”

“It is my final hope that this program additionally encourages drivers to park extra mindfully,” Yekutiel added.

SFMTA Director of Transportation Jeffrey Tumlin mentioned within the press launch that the company hopes the brand new initiative will “clear the streets extra rapidly,” in an effort to maintain transit shifting effectively all through the town.

Newsweek was directed to the press launch after reaching out to the SFMTA for remark.

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