THE RISKS OF LONG-TERM PARKING ON PUBLIC HIGHWAYS
The issue of long-term parking on public highways within the capital received a lot of press coverage last summer. Chief Constable Christian Guillaume of the Service Régional de la Police de la Route
has been answering our questions.
Do the Grand-Ducal Police impound vehicles that are parked on public highways for over 24 hours?
As a general rule, no. As Chief Constable Christian Guillaume explains, the police only intervene if they have been called because a vehicle parked in an area covered by a ‘no parking’ sign (C,18) is causing a problem with regards to some sort of event, for example, or construction work, in which case the only solution is to tow the vehicle away.
Where does this idea of a 24-hour period come from?
This time frame can, in fact, vary from one town to another and is specified by local government regulations, so you will need to find out from your local authority. In the case of the City of Luxembourg, regulations state that it is prohibited to leave a vehicle parked on a public highway for more than 24 hours. In fact, if the authorities need to prohibit people from parking in certain areas for a certain period of time owing to an event, works being carried out or a removal operation it will put up C,18 signs at least 24 hours beforehand, giving users time to move their vehicles as they are required to do so every 24 hours anyway.
Does a residents’ permit override this 24-hour rule?
The maximum time that you are allowed to park on a public highway is the same regardless of whether or not you have a residents’ permit, i.e. 24 hours in the case of the City of Luxembourg. Christian Guillaume also points out that the same is true where Park & Ride systems are concerned, where marking operations, for example, may lead to temporary parking bans being introduced, so it is best to find somewhere else to leave your vehicle if you’re heading off on holiday.
How much does it cost the owner of the vehicle when it gets impounded?
Costs vary, but there are various charges that add up and you can end up with a pretty steep bill when you get back from your holiday. First of all there is the €24 parking fine. Then there are the towing charges, which vary from €190 to €214, depending on the time of day. On top of all of this there are also ‘security’ costs amounting to €20 per 12-hour period.
What do you recommend for people who are going away on holiday but have no garage or private parking?
The best option is to try and find a parking space that is not on the public highway, such as at a family member’s home, for example, for the time they will be away. If that is not possible, they might want to consider leaving their keys with someone they trust who lives on or regularly travels up and down the street on which they have parked their vehicle so that it can be moved in the event of a C,18 sign being put up. After all, as Christian Guillaume points out, the fact that there was no sign there when you set off on holiday does not mean that one won’t be put up later on, meaning that your car is then illegally parked. And one last thing: no, you cannot leave your keys with the Grand Ducal Police for them to move your car should the need arise!