Question: My car was clamped, but we parked in front of our apartment. There was no signage [prohibiting parking]. Is this legal?
Yes, it is possible for a car to be illegally parked at a public street or area or even in front of your apartment without any sign prohibiting parking. On the other hand, there are public streets or areas that must have a sign prohibiting parking for the car to be illegally parked.
If your apartment is situated in any of those areas where parking is expressly prohibited by law, a post or a signage is not necessary to prohibit parking. An ordinance stating that it is a no-parking area may be considered superfluous.
A motor vehicle is ‘parked’ or ‘parking’ if it has been brought to a stop on the shoulder or proper edge of a highway, and remains inactive in that place or close thereto for an appreciable period of time. One that properly stops merely to discharge a passenger or to take in a waiting passenger, or to load or unload a small quantity of freight with reasonable dispatch shall not be considered as “parked” if it again moves away without delay.
An ‘Illegally Parked Vehicle’ refers to one that is parked in public streets or areas prohibited for parking purposes by the Land Transportation and Traffic Code or by the Revised Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Guidelines for Towing and Impounding Operations in Metro Manila, and by the ordinances of the local government units (LGUs).
In specific areas, a ‘No Parking’ sign is not required and no driver shall park a vehicle—or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended—upon a highway in any of the following places:
- Within an intersection
- On a crosswalk
- Within six meters of the intersection of curb lines
- Within four meters of the driveway entrance to and fire station
- Within four meters of a fire hydrant
- In front of a private driveway
- On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the curb or edge of the highway
- At the foot or near bridges
- All national roads in Metro Manila
The Land Transportation and Traffic Code (Republic Act No. 4136 of 1964) assumes that all licensed drivers have passed their driving test and know the nine items listed above.
However, a ‘No Parking’ sign is required in any other area for it to be declared a ‘No Parking Zone’ pursuant to law, MMDA regulation, or LGU ordinance. This includes places where official signs have been erected prohibiting parking or designating the areas as no-parking zones, such as the Mabuhay Lanes.
For private property such as private residential subdivisions, condominiums, industrial estates, or shopping malls, a ‘No Parking’ sign must be posted for other places not on the list above.
There is no standard ‘No Parking’ signage in the country. It can be as simple as the words ‘No Parking’ in large letters, or the typical symbol of a black letter ‘P’ inside a red circle with a red slash across it, on a white background. The street may also be marked by two consecutive ‘No Parking’ signs and with arrows pointing generally toward each other.
There is also no requirement for signage to indicate the limits or restrictions on parking (such as time of day or day of the week for the prohibition). Neither is there a requirement for signage to indicate the penalty (towing, traffic violation receipt, or fine).
Under the MMDA Guidelines, an unattended illegally parked vehicle in Metro Manila is towed to an impounding area and issued a traffic violation receipt (TVR). Additionally, a driver who shall illegally park his motor vehicle on any public road, street, or thoroughfare in Metro Manila shall pay a fine and the standard towing fee.
The ordinances may vary among LGUs in terms of prohibition, requirements, procedures, fines, and penalties. It is advisable for a motorist to check on the specific ordinance of his city or municipality.
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