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Illegal parking spirals once again after towing halt

Following the halt of towing vehicles that park illegally, which posed difficulties for pedestrians and other vehicles, such parking has once again increased, with roads observing vehicles parked on both sides of the street.

Aishath Shuba Solih
23 May 2024, MVT 14:39
Vehicles parked unlawfully on the side of Boduthakurufaanu Magu. -- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru News
Aishath Shuba Solih
23 May 2024, MVT 14:39

Illegal parking in Male' City has once again escalated following discontinuation of towing vehicles found in violation of parking regulations.

Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation began towing vehicles due to parking patterns disrupting ease of travel for both pedestrians and other vehicles, especially buses and emergency vehicles like ambulances. With the implementation of vehicle towing, illegal parking had notably decreased, and the number of vehicles parked on both sides of the streets was also reduced.

However, with the temporary suspension of vehicle towing, roads are once again becoming congested with illegal parking on both sides of the streets, causing difficulties for pedestrians and vehicles alike.

Vehicles parked unlawfully on the pavement next to Sultan Park today. -- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru News

Many have taken to social media to express concern over the rising issue of illegal parking on no-parking roads and pavements, making it difficult for people to navigate. Drivers continue to park unlawfully on roads such as Lily Magu, Medhuziyaarai Magu, Ameer Ahmed Magu, Chaandhanee Magu, and the area across from Sultan Park.

Large vehicles are parked on both sides of the Boduthakurufaanu Magu despite the prohibition of any sort of parking on the road as well, which has caused multiple challenges for drivers.

A Transport Ministry official shared with Mihaaru News today that removal of illegally parked vehicles has been suspended for the time being. He said that this is due to ongoing efforts to secure additional space for holding towed vehicles and sourcing tow trucks.

"It (vehicle towing) is suspended for now. Generally, we tow four-wheeled vehicles, but there is no space to hold them, so towing has been stopped until we can build that capacity. The work being carried out now involves sourcing tow trucks and creating space to hold the vehicles. Towing will resume as soon as this work is completed," the Ministry official said.

Although towing has been discontinued temporarily, the official said that if vehicles are parked over double lined areas and pavements which poses difficulties to pedestrians, they will be towed.

Police also stated that they are continuing to tow illegally parked vehicles that impede ease of travel for others. They urged the public to refrain from parking haphazardly and to park according to regulations, emphasizing that this issue can be easily resolved with public cooperation.

Police had previously warned that vehicles parked in five specific areas would be towed. This includes Green Zones, public transport roads, intersections of roads and streets, as well as school zones.

They had also added that vehicles parked near office buildings, hospitals, and areas allocated for people with special needs in addition to vehicles parked in manners that make it difficult to enter and exit households and garages would also be towed.

Vehicles parked unlawfully on the side of Boduthakurufaanu Magu today. -- Photo: Nishan Ali / Mihaaru News

The administration had previously decided to cease issuing parking violation tickets until designated parking spaces are established. However, illegal parking on streets has begun increasing since then, especially in Boduthakurufaanu Magu.

Vehicles parked illegally in areas besides the allocated zones in Hulhumale' Phase 1 and Phase 2 are penalized under the Land Transport Act and the Road Vehicle Parking regulation.

The sixth article of the Transport Act allows fines to be enforced on the vehicle owner in instances of illegal parking and confers the right to dock points from the owner's license to the Transport Ministry and any institution determined by the Ministry.

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