Tel Aviv City Workers Busted for Fake Handicap Sign and Fine (VIDEO)

tel aviv, handicap, corruption, urban density, parking  If we hadn’t seen the footage, we would never have believed that Tel Aviv’s municipal workers would paint a fake handicap sign around a woman’s parked car in order to collect on the illegal parking and towing fines they then levied. Even worse, they believed they would get away with it.

Unluckily for them, they picked on the wrong woman. Hila Ben-Baruch has been using the same parking spot on Yehuda Halevi street for well over a year, so on the day in question, when municipal workers eventually had her vehicle towed and charged her over $350 for the privilege, she got herself some evidence,  The Jerusalem Post reports. See below for the video.

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Ben-Baruch told the paper she was astounded to come out on a Sunday evening to find her car, which she had parked in a legal blue spot earlier that day, gone!

Even more shocking was the city’s insistence that she pay a total of $350 for parking in a handicap spot and for the towing fees.

This story shares socio-psychological elements of Clint Eastwood’s movie Changeling starring Angelina Jolie, whose character’s son goes missing.

After reporting his disappearance to the police, she is presented with another boy. When she insists that the new boy doesn’t belong to her, she is treated like a delusional madwoman. Incidentally, the movie was based on a true story that took place in Los Angeles in 1920.

In present day Tel Aviv, that’s 2013, the victim was 100 percent certain that she had parked in a valid spot and proceeded to search for evidence to support her claim.

She managed to unearth a surveillance camera from across the street which first shows city workers nonchalantly creating a new handicap space around Ben-Baruch’s vehicle and then a tow truck appears to cart her vehicle away.

Armed with this tape, Ben-Baruch was able to escape the fine and elicit a soft apology from officials, but some Jerusalem Post readers felt that the city had not done enough to compensate her for the trouble she endured when her car was impounded.

Even more worrisome, another reader claims this kind of thing happens all the time. Sounds like another compelling reason to join 14 percent of urbanites who have chosen two wheels over four.

5 thoughts on “Tel Aviv City Workers Busted for Fake Handicap Sign and Fine (VIDEO)

  1. Dorron Kline

    “in order to collect on the illegal parking and towing fines they then levied…” – the workers who paint the lines do not get a percentage from fines that are levied – that is really taking it far.

    At some stage a municipality designates a parking spot for the handicapped. In Tel Aviv, if you would wait until that parking place was free, you would wait until the messiah arrives looking for a parking place. They often have no choice but to paint the sign while a car is there.
    In this case the towing people were way to eager.
    They do get paid by the municipality for every car that they tow away but they are not connected in any way to the workers who paint the liners.
    One of the towing dept. workers must have spotted the car parked in the handicapped zone and called in the truck, not knowing that the car was parked there before.

    The same thing happened to me in Ra’anana.
    I parked in a regular parking spot. During the course of the day I received a phone call from the municipality saying that my car is about to be towed away because I’m parked in a bay reserved for handicapped drivers.
    I was certain that I hadn’t missed seeing such a sign and said so to the person on the phone.
    She agreed with me and told me that they had just put up the sign that day – after I had parked there , that is why she was calling to give me a warning.
    Ra’anana municipality is obviously better organised than the Tel Aviv municipality
    So… come and live in Ra’anana.

    Reply
  2. Lucy Mauterer

    Lol! If that had happened in Chicago, and the car owner had returned early, those workers may have been just shot dead in the street. I do think the municipality should pay this lady for her lost time and inconvenience they caused.

    Reply
  3. Maurice

    What is a severe situation in Tel Aviv is the dire, dire shortage of legal parking spaces for cars – especially for people who choose to live in the city. Many of these people work in high tech and other jobs outside of the “non-stop city” and can only reach these work places by car. Large parking lots are being given over to building contractors for constructing new apartment buildings for the rich; thus making the parking situation even more dire. I don’t at all agree with the idea of changing from “4 wheels to 2″ as riding a motorbike or scooter won’t cut it if your job is in Raanana or Petach Tikvah. As for Astaris’ comment above, this is also not true as the incident was talked about afterwards on morning talk shows and it was definitely agreed that this had been a scam.

    Reply
  4. astaris

    What a ridiculous analysis of what happened! It wasn’t fake! The new handicapped parking space was real and still is. What was stupid was that the municipal people who did it didn’t leave a message on the front window exempting the car from being towed or fined, should the tow truck doing the rounds, arrive brfore the driver did. These are different people – the towing is outsourced – and it was just a dumb coincidence. It’s all over the Israeli websites, but no-one thinks that it was a scam. Tel Aviv is not Karachi.

    Reply

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