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3/15/2006
Minneapolis, Minnesota Seizes 600 Vehicles from Confused Motorists
Minneapolis, Minnesota seizes 600 vehicles for violating confusing snow emergency rules, generating $103,200 in fines.

Snow emergency
A confusing set of rules allowed the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota to generate $103,200 in towing fees and fines overnight after declaring a snow emergency. Between 9pm Monday and Tuesday morning the city had more than six hundred vehicles towed.

"The police in Minneapolis have gone crazy," towing victim Chris Freeman told KSTP-TV.

Freeman and hundreds of others like him each paid $34 to the city for the parking ticket, $138 for the towing and an extra $18 for each day the car is held on the lot. Many residents who attempted to retrieve their own property without bringing one of the many documents required were turned away. The city demands copies of the vehicle registration or title, license plate or VIN number, proof of insurance and photo identification.

According to city rules, a motorist must first know on what day the emergency was formally declared. On day one, there is no parking on snow route streets as little as three hours after the declaration is made, unless the street is plowed. On day two, parking is allowed on odd sides of marked streets from 8am to 8pm, but on day three the 8am to 8pm restrictions shift to marked even streets. Parking is always allowed on fully plowed streets whether they are marked as emergency routes or not. Each city in the area has its own special set of snow emergency rules.

Source: Angry drivers show up at impound lot (KSTP-TV (MN), 3/14/2006)

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