Question: What if I have a complaint about the towing policies here? Do I file the complaint with city police? I feel like there are some predatory towing agreements in the city and even outside the city in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties and I have no idea who I address this with and where. Thank you
Answer: There are two different sets of ordinances regarding towing:
Police Requested Towing pertains to instances in which your vehicle was towed at the request or direction of police, generally from public roadways. This type of towing is governed by Fredericksburg City Code 58-323 through 58-339. Any grievances or complaints must be in writing and delivered to the City of Fredericksburg Towing and Recovery Advisory Board, care of Officer Walker. Officer Walker will initiate an investigation and keep the complainant advised of its progress.
Private Property Towing is regulated by City Code 58-451 through 58-458. Any violations of this code can be brought to the attention of any officer. However, if there appears to be no violation of the ordinance, but a citizen still feels they were wrongly towed, they can take civil action through the General District Court.
Police cannot negotiate the release of a vehicle for an owner and will advise the owner to pay any fees to secure the release of the vehicle. The owner can then attempt to recover those fees through civil action. This action can be taken against the towing company and/or the property owner which contracted with the tower.
Question: I live in a newer area of the city where the houses are close together & quite a few have garages right off of a regular street. To get into the garage they cross over the public sidewalk. Several of the residents have started parking on the sidewalk rather than pulling into their garage. Where I use to live we could not park so the car blocked the sidewalk. Is that the law in this city?
Answer: Vehicles can not be parked on the sidewalk according to the below City Code. You may contact the Police Department if this is a problem in your neighborhood, and an officer will be dispatched to address the complaint.
Sec. 58-163. - Parking prohibited in specified places; general parking restrictions.
(a) Parking prohibited in specified places. No person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle in any of the following places, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with the directions of a police officer, traffic control device, sign, street marking or street striping or as otherwise authorized by law:
(1) On a sidewalk.
(2) In front of a public or private driveway.
(3) Within an intersection.
(4) Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
(5) On a crosswalk.
(6) Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection; provided, however, that where there is no crosswalk at an intersection no person shall stop, stand, or park a vehicle within 20 feet from the intersection of curblines or, if none, then within 15 feet of the intersection of property lines at any street intersection.
(7) Within 30 feet upon the approach of any flashing beacon, stop sign, or traffic control signal located at the side of a roadway.
(8) Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the chief of police has indicated a different length by signs or markings.
(9) Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when such parking would obstruct traffic.
(10) On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street except as permitted in Code of Virginia, §§ 46.2-888—46.2-891; but this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit double parking on a two-lane, one-way street, for a reasonable time for the purpose of expeditiously loading and unloading, except that such double parking is prohibited:
a. Between the hours of 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
b. When vacant curb space is available in the same block and on the same side of the street where loading or unloading is being done.
c. Where a loading zone is vacant on either side of the street in the same block where the loading or unloading is being done.
d. On single lane thru-streets, except with prior written permission from the city department of public works.
(11) Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a street or highway or within a tunnel.
(12) At any place where official signs prohibit parking.
(13) In any city-owned or city-controlled parking lot.
(b) Parking in fire lane. It shall be unlawful for any person to park any vehicle in a fire lane designated by the city fire chief or his designee, whether it be on public or private property. Vehicles improperly parked in such designated fire lanes shall be subject to removal by either police officers or fire officials of the city. The costs of removal and storage of such vehicle shall be borne by the owners thereof.
(c) Overtime parking. When any vehicle is parked upon any portion of a street or parking lot where parking is lawful, but where the span of time that such vehicle may be lawfully parked is controlled by a sign giving notice thereof, it shall be unlawful to permit such vehicle to remain so parked in excess of the time period indicated on such sign or in a time period prohibited by such sign Such vehicle must be removed completely from such parking space for a time period equal to the time period indicated on such sign.
(d) Moving vehicle without authority. No person other than a police officer shall move a vehicle into any area where parking is prohibited or away from a curb such distance as is unlawful, or start or cause to be started the motor of any motor vehicle, or shift, change or move the levers, brake, starting device, gears, or other mechanism of a parked motor vehicle to a position other than that in which it was left by the owner or driver thereof, or attempt to do so.
(e) Payment of fine. A violator of this section shall be permitted to satisfy the citation in full by payment of the fine, within 30 days, to the city treasurer. If the violator does not respond within 30 days to the citation, the city treasurer shall cause a complaint, summons, or warrant to be issued for the delinquent citation.
(Code 1991, § 12-67; Ord. No. 07-15, § II, 5-22-2007; Ord. No. 09-39, § I, 9-8-2009)
State law reference— Parking in front of fire hydrant, near street corner, fire station, etc., Code of Virginia, § 46.2-1239.
Question: At the turn from Bragg Rd into Central Park, with the right turn on red after complete stop, can you continue on the merge lane or do you need to wait for that light to turn green? It's caused major disputes in my car!
Answer: The right turn from Fall Hill Ave into Central Park at Carl D Silver Pkwy should be treated as a right turn on red. After coming to a complete stop and determining that oncoming traffic conditions allow for the turn, drivers may proceed onto Carl D Silver Pkwy. Treat the intersection as you would any other, with due regard for safety.