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'Happens 3 to 4 times a year': Landed homeowner frustrated after van parks in front of gate and obstructs driveway

'Happens 3 to 4 times a year': Landed homeowner frustrated after van parks in front of gate and obstructs driveway
A property agent found himself at his wits' end after a van parked outside his home after midnight, and he felt like no one could assist him.
PHOTO: TikTok/Thomas Tong

A homeowner was left at a loss after he was prevented from exiting his property due to a van parked in front of his gate.

In a TikTok video uploaded on Monday (June 10), Thomas Tong, who lives in a landed estate at Upper Paya Lebar, shared details of the incident, which occurred past midnight last Saturday.

"I realised there was a van parked right here," Tong said, referring to the road right outside his front gate. 

The 36-year-old property agent had planned on driving to a nearby gym to work out, but was unable to do so because the van was "directly obstructing" his driveway, preventing him from getting his vehicle out of his home.

Stating that he "knows for a fact" that this is an issue for the Land Transport Authority (LTA) to resolve, he claimed that the agency doesn't operate 24 hours and would therefore not be able to help him.

Desperate, he called the police to seek assistance. When they didn't arrive, it prompted a second call from Tong.

This time, the police informed him that it was an issue he had to take up with LTA.

"We all know that LTA doesn't work 24/7 round the clock, so this is probably the only video you're going to see in Singapore where a property agent is telling you something bad about buying a landed property," he quipped.

Tong added: "These are issues that happen and it happens quite often."

Not first time parked cars have obstructed his driveway

He also concluded that if someone decides to park outside a landed home in the middle of the night and obstructs traffic, the police cannot assist the homeowner.

This is because, according to Tong, there are no double-yellow, zig-zag or solid white lines outside the home. "These people are essentially not breaking the law," he said.

Speaking with AsiaOne later, Tong said his plans weren't disrupted by much because of the van, and that he walked to the gym instead, which took 20 minutes.

By the time he got home around 3am, the van was gone.

Still, when asked how often cars park outside his home and obstruct his driveway, Tong said that it happens about three to four times a year. In the past, he said he used the OneService app to report such incidents.

"I used to not understand why landed homeowners might appear petty — they use cones [to block their driveway]. I didn't understand until I owned my own home," he added.

Call a tow truck?

Some netizens sympathised with Tong, sharing their own experiences with vehicles parked outside their homes.

"It happened to me before and I was rushing to the airport," one said. "I called my friend, Tow Truck, to tow it, and they towed it to (the) nearest heavy vehicle car park!"

Many others also suggested that Tong call for a tow truck to remove the vehicle from his driveway.

Some netizens also pointed out that LTA runs a 24/7 helpline for reporting illegal parking.

Stopping a vehicle in a manner that causes unnecessary obstruction to other road users is an offence that carries a $70 fine for light vehicles and $100 for heavy vehicles. Repeat offenders will be fined $110 and $150 respectively.

LTA will take action against vehicle owner

The Singapore Police Force (SPF) and LTA, in response to AsiaOne queries, said in a joint reply that the claims regarding the unavailability of their enforcement services outside regular working hours is incorrect. 

Members of public can report parking offences such as incidences of illegal parking or obstructions at any time via the LifeSG and OneService applications, or call their 24/7 Parking Enforcement hotline at 1800-338-6622. 

Such cases do not fall under the purview of the Police. If the Police is contacted, the cases will be referred to LTA.

For cases of illegal parking causing serious obstruction, LTA said it will first attempt to contact the vehicle owner to move the vehicle. Failing which, the vehicle will be towed away. 

"In this case, LTA's parking warden visited the site twice after being notified by the SPF, at 1.40am and 3.00am, but did not locate the van on either occasion. Nonetheless, LTA will take action against the vehicle owner," said the two agencies.

Motorists are reminded to adhere to traffic rules to avoid obstructing, inconveniencing or endangering other road users. LTA will take enforcement actions, and penalties will be imposed on those who violate traffic rules.

ALSO READ: Serangoon Gardens resident calls out driver for parking right in front of her gate

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