cars

A new legal notice has just been issued, clarifying the legal parameters for temporary tow zones, after months of confusion since a court sentence made ‘no parking’ signs unenforceable.

The situation has caused frustration for many, including developers, contractors, movers, and residents, who suddenly found a long-standing practice nullified.

Speaking to BusinessNow.mt on Monday, Malta Developers Association president Michael Stivala described the lack of enforcement as a “significant problem” which “contributes to a lot of delays and complications on work sites and roads”.

“You end up in a situation where a truck arrives and finds cars parked in the place it should be set up in.”

He continued: “Before, this was not such a big problem, because the police could be roped in to contact the car. However, for the last months, this ended up being a major cost and nuisance.”

On Wednesday (today), Mr Stivala said, a meeting took place in which two new legal notices were presented.

The legal notices, seen by this newsroom, set out the legal responsibilities of each party in black on white, and tasks the Local Enforcement System Agency (LESA) with the enforcement of such tow zones.

As before, residents and developers need to obtain a permit from the respective local council, and put up the tow zone sign two days prior to its effective date.

Should a car be parked in the marked area, the applicant will need to contact LESA, which is soon signing an agreement with Transport Malta so as to be able to access personal information via a vehicle’s licence plate.

This will allow LESA to call the vehicle owner to ask them to move – just like police used to do prior to the pivotal court judgement.

Should the car owner not respond or not move their vehicle in a reasonable amount of time, the vehicle will be towed or clamped, depending on the situation.

For example, Mr Stivala pointed out that the signs go far beyond developments and residential uses, with feasts also depending on such signs for their smooth operation.

He explained that the association he heads is “very happy” with the solution found, and hopes that the undue frustration and problems caused over the last few months will come to a quick end.

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