Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Illegal Towing at University of Texas at Austin campus parking lots

Became an Illegal Sign 9-1-13
Virtually everybody that was towed or charged a boot fee at any of the parking lots within the UT campus or properties controlled by UT, are now crime victims and due compensation.  At issue are those vehicles towed by authorization of Parking & Transportation Services. UTPD authorized tows based on a criminal offense do not qualify for compensation.

Tow Sign Text Required Effective 9-1-13

At issue, is the towing signs posted at all the parking lots state towing and booting enforced at all times in the red background under the towing symbol.  The law was changed this past session of the Legislature to require the red background area to only state: "Towing Enforced" or "Booting Enforced" or Towing and Booting Enforced"

Sec. 2308.301. General Requirements for Sign Prohibiting Unauthorized Vehicles.

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (a)(2)(B) and Section 2308.304 or 2308.305, an unauthorized vehicle may not be towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted under Section 2308.257 unless a sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles on a parking facility is:
(1) facing and conspicuously visible to the driver of a vehicle that enters the facility;
(2) located:
(A) on the right or left side of each driveway or curb-cut through which a vehicle can enter the facility, including an entry from an alley abutting the facility; or
(B) at intervals along the entrance so that no entrance is farther than 25 feet from a sign if:
(i) curbs, access barriers, landscaping, or driveways do not establish definite vehicle entrances onto a parking facility from a public roadway other than an alley; and
(ii) the width of an entrance exceeds 35 feet;
(3) permanently mounted on a pole, post, permanent wall, or permanent barrier;
(4) installed on the parking facility; and
(5) installed so that the bottom edge of the sign is no lower than five feet and no higher than eight feet above ground level.
(b) Except as provided by Section 2308.305, an unauthorized vehicle may be towed under Section 2308.252(a)(1) or booted under Section 2308.257 only if each sign prohibiting unauthorized vehicles:
(1) is made of weather-resistant material;
(2) is at least 18 inches wide and 24 inches tall;
(3) contains the international symbol for towing vehicles;
(4) contains a statement describing who may park in the parking facility and prohibiting all others;
(5) bears the words, as applicable:

(A) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed or Booted at Owner's or Operator's Expense";
(B) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Towed at Owner's or Operator's Expense"; or
(C) "Unauthorized Vehicles Will Be Booted at Owner's or Operator's Expense";
(6) contains a statement of the days and hours of towing and booting enforcement; and
(7) contains a number, including the area code, of a telephone that is answered 24 hours a day to enable an owner or operator of a vehicle to locate a towed vehicle or to arrange for removal of a boot from a vehicle.
Sec. 2308.302. Color, Layout, and Lettering Height Requirements.

(a) Except as provided by Section 2308.305, each sign required by this chapter must comply with the color, layout, and lettering height requirements of this section.
(b) A bright red international towing symbol, which is a solid silhouette of a tow truck towing a vehicle on a generally rectangular white background, at least four inches in height, must be on the uppermost portion of a sign or on a separate sign placed immediately above the sign.
(c) The portion of the sign immediately below the international towing symbol must:
(1) in lettering at least two inches in height, contain the words, as applicable:
(A) "Towing and Booting Enforced";
(B) "Towing Enforced"; or
(C) "Booting Enforced"; and
(2) consist of white letters on a bright red background.
(d) Except as provided by Subsection (e), the next lower portion of the sign must contain the remaining information required by Section 2308.301(b) displayed in bright red letters at least one inch in height on a white background.
(e) The bottommost portion of the sign must contain the telephone numbers required by Section 2308.301(b), in lettering at least one inch in height and may, if the facility owner chooses or if an applicable municipal ordinance requires, include the name and address of the storage facility to which an unauthorized vehicle will be removed. The lettering on this portion of the sign must consist of white letters on a bright red background.

All these new requirements are in "quotes", meaning no text can be added or deleted in the phrase.

So, find your paperwork from your towing or booting incident, if towed or booted after September 1, 2013 and contact Texas Towing Compliance at 512-680-3190, so we can refer you to our prosecution team to file a "statutory violation or theft liability lawsuit, which entitles you to $1000 plus triple damages. Our Austin based prosecutors do not charge upfront legal fees to collect the compensation that State Law has entitled illegal towing victims to.

Parking & Transportation Services Mgr Charlie Smith recently without cause cancelled a 2 year towing contract to go back with Park Right Solutions, even after it's owner admits on a YouTube video to paying off police officers with cash, bribing property managers, committing workers comp fraud and cheating his wage and hour employees.