File picture: Moeletsi Mabe / Independent Media.

Johannesburg - Don’t take parking instructions from car guards; you may just return and find your vehicle has been towed away.

Justice Project South Africa (JPSA) makes this warning after a recent incident where a family attending a concert in Johannesburg parked their car in a side road upon the instruction of a car guard wearing a reflective vest, and paid the R50 he demanded as a parking fee, only to find that their car was towed away by the traffic department and impounded for illegal parking.

Only after forking out R2800 were they allowed to remove their car from the pound and head home.

The JPSA points out that car guards have no authority in terms of South African traffic law to instruct motorists to do anything, least of all park their vehicles. Only formally appointed parking attendants in pre-demarcated parking zones have the ‘authority’ to demand up-front payment for ‘pay and display’parking, etc.

Motorists must abide by the law and never allow themselves to be conned by ‘official-looking’car guards where it is clear that parking is prohibited, says JPSA’s Howard Dembovsky. “Doing so can result in very expensive school fees becoming immediately payable and huge inconvenience being imposed upon you”.

Whether or not it is accompanied by a properly posted road traffic sign, a yellow painted edge line means ‘no parking’ and a red painted edge line means ‘no stopping’. Parking on any sidewalk is also prohibited.

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