13 Investigates


Questions swirl about 'no parking' signage after several First Friday vehicles towed

Posted at 4:35 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 20:42:41-04

A First Friday attendee says he feels taken advantage of after several vehicles were towed from dirt lot near Hoover Avenue and 3rd Street.

Bill Smith says he parked his Toyota Camry in the lot on the southwest corner and noticed several other people had done the same.

"You try and come to enjoy First Friday, it’s all locals for us and it’s a good time and you come out here and you find your car gone," said Smith.

Smith said several families had returned to also find their vehicles had been towed.

Smith said a tow truck driver for Commerce Towing told him the lot had "no parking" signage but it must have been removed by angry drivers.

"I mean if [the signs] were lit up you could see them at night, but obviously is not visible at all if you look around," said Smith.

"If you had signs posted especially here at the entrance where you drive in at, no one would be parking here," he added.

13 Action News spoke to Commerce Towing about the issue.

A spokesperson says the company towed 8 to 9 vehicles from the lot on Friday.

There were three signs on stakes that were ripped down and each of the tows were authorized, the spokesperson said.

13 Action News also reached out the Nevada Transportation Authority and a spokesperson said the law is very clear about how signage needs to be displayed:

     1.  Except as otherwise provided in subsection 7, an operator of a tow car shall not tow a vehicle from private property at the request of the owner or person in lawful possession of the property, or a designated agent of the owner or person in lawful possession of the property, unless a sign is displayed on the property in accordance with the provisions of NRS 487.038 [leg.state.nv.us], any applicable municipal and county ordinances and subsection 6.
     2.  In residential complexes, reserved parking spaces and areas in which parking is prohibited must be clearly marked.
     3.  The staff of the Authority will, upon request by the operator of a tow car:
     (a) Verify by inspection a map of each property from which tows may be made which is submitted by the operator; and
     (b) Send a letter to the operator describing the size, color, number and placement of the sign or signs on each property and stating whether the sign or signs are in compliance with this section.
     4.  If a sign is removed, destroyed or damaged, it must be replaced or repaired within a reasonable time.
     5.  The Authority may grant a waiver from any of the provisions of this section if, upon application of the operator of a tow car or the owner or person in lawful possession of the property from which tows are made, it determines that a waiver is in the public interest.
     6.  A sign or signs displayed on a parking lot pursuant to subsection 1 must:
     (a) Be printed with contrasting background and lettering;
     (b) Use readable lettering;
     (c) Be placed on the parking lot in such a manner that it is in the field of view of all drivers entering the lot;
     (d) Be of sufficient quantity to notify all users of the lot of the parking restrictions; and
     (e) Include the name and telephone number of the local law enforcement agency which is to be notified of a tow.

     7.  This section does not apply:
     (a) If the owner or person in lawful possession of private property, or the designated agent of the owner or person in lawful possession of the property, has entered into a written contract with the owner of the vehicle which describes the circumstances under which a vehicle may be towed;
     (b) If the owner or person in lawful possession of private property, or the designated agent of an owner or person in lawful possession of the property, requests that the vehicle be towed because it is parked in a “no parking” area, such as a marked fire lane, red zone, travel lane of a roadway, driveway, lawn or any other area commonly recognized as a “no parking” area;
     (c) To the towing of a vehicle at the direction of a peace officer; or
     (d) To the towing of a vehicle from an unimproved area or an area where no sign is displayed if a notice has been posted on the vehicle for not less than 24 hours.
     8.  As used in this section, “staff of the Authority” means persons employed by the Authority.
     (Added to NAC by Pub. Service Comm’n, eff. 9-16-92; A by Transportation Serv. Auth. by R071-98, 10-28-98)

13 Action News also spoke to a neighbor who did not want to be identified about the parking problems that First Friday brings.

He says the area is plagued with inconsiderate parkers who leave trash and other debris after First Friday.

Smith says he would like to see better signage and more awareness about the parking problem at Hoover and 3rd Street.

The tow company charged him $315.50 cash only to get his vehicle out of impound.

The Nevada Transportation Authority recommends filing a complaint so they can launch an investigation. 

A City of Las Vegas spokesperson says First Friday attendees are encouraged to park at the City Hall garage or use the Downtown Loop which has a stop in the Arts District.

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