Red tape: Tel Aviv paints handicapped spot, tows car
Surveillance footage shows municipal workers painting parking spot to mark it as handicapped with woman's car still in it • Facebook post about incident goes viral • Municipality apologizes for "unacceptable incompetence," rescinds fine, towing costs.
Yehuda Shlezinger and Israel Hayom Staff
Tel Aviv resident Hila Ben-Baruch's car being towed away on Sunday.
Photo credit: Channel 2
On Sunday, Tel Aviv resident Hila Ben-Baruch parked her car in a legal spot outside her residence on Yehuda Halevi street. When she returned later, she was astounded to discover that her car had been towed and that the spot had been painted to designate it for handicapped parking.
Ben-Baruch was shocked and refused to go quietly into the night.
"I called my friend who had been with me in the car to make sure that I had not gone crazy or become senile," Ben-Baruch wrote on her Facebook page.
Ben-Baruch then called the Tel Aviv municipality. A dispatcher at the municipality's call center treated her disrespectfully and accused her of lying.
Ben-Baruch was told she would have to pay 350 shekels (around 95 dollars) in towing costs and that she would also be fined an even higher amount for parking in a handicapped space.
Ben-Baruch's Facebook post about the incident went viral. Refusing to give up, Ben-Baruch went to an office building overlooking the parking spot and obtained security camera footage.
In the footage, a pair of Tel Aviv municipal workers are seen painting the spot with Ben-Baruch's car still there. Shortly thereafter, a tow truck comes to take Ben-Baruch's car away.
"Tel Aviv municipality, you are criminals," Ben-Baruch wrote on her Facebook page. She said that she may take legal steps against the municipality over the injustice and anguish the incident caused her.
The Tel Aviv municipality cancelled the fine against Ben-Baruch and said she would not have to pay the towing costs.
The Tel Aviv municipality said the incident marked "a serious mistake" and "unacceptable incompetence."
"We apologize for the distress and we will investigate to ensure that things like this are avoided in the future," the Tel Aviv municipality said.