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From the Forum – Scooter Towed Unlawfully?

by Prince Of Petworth November 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm 19 Comments


Scooter Towed Unlawfully?:

“I own a 49cc scooter and made sure when I purchased it that it fit all the qualifications of a “moped” so that I wouldn’t need to get a motorcycle license and could park it outside my house. I verified with a DC police officer that it was a moped and they said yes, as it was under 50cc’s, 16″+ wheels, and max speed is 30mph.

I live in Petworth and can’t fit the scooter through my tight alley to my backyard so I had it parked across from my house on the sidewalk. It was a wide area of the sidewalk, chained to a light post (which I also verified with patrolling cops that this was legal.) I had it chained with the heaviest chain I could buy at Ace Hardware plus a U-lock on each wheel. Scooters seem to disappear quite frequently from my neighborhood.

I came home from work last Friday to discover it gone. Find out that it has been towed by DPW. The ticket is that it was technically a motorcycle so it was unlawful for it to be parked on a sidewalk. They towed it Friday afternoon, so that is $100, plus $20 for each day is it stored- INCLUDING Saturday and Sunday when they are closed. They broke the chain ($50) and each of the U locks ($75 each). Plus my new helmet ($125) was in the under seat bin. The ticket is $100. Was told that I can’t pick up the scooter without paying the fines first. So the scooter is there racking up the fines while I have to take off work to fight the ticket in traffic court with no guarantee of getting reimbursed for anything.

I was wondering if any of you have experience with this sort of situation? I feel like this is some kind of scam. I am out $650 as of today for this unlawful tow. The scooter only cost me $350! Do I leave my scooter at the impound lot and chalk this up to a very expensive mistake or fight it?”

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