Hundreds of people will likely be waking up to find their cars are no longer where they parked them Monday night as Chicago’s winter parking ban went into effect in the early hours of the morning.
Every year drivers are caught unaware and park in a spot that's legal on Nov. 30, but becomes illegal overnight. And on Tuesday morning, the city auto pound was busier than a store on Black Friday.
As soon as the clock struck 3 a.m. on Dec. 1, Chicago’s winter overnight parking ban went into effect.
The parking ban will be strictly enforced nightly from 3 a.m. to 7 a.m., regardless if there is snow on the ground or not. As the deadline approached, tow trucks were out ready to move illegally parked vehicles.
Last year, a total of 239 vehicles were towed on the first day of the parking ban. The number is coincidentally the same number of vehicles that were towed on the first day of 2013's ban, but down from the 301 vehicles towed in 2012.
NBC 5 cameras were rolling on the city’s Northwest Side near the intersection of Milwaukee and Grand Ave. as dozens of unsuspecting drivers had their vehicles towed away in just a couple short hours.
Those major streets are included in the city's more than 100 miles of "critical roads" where parking is forbid overnight during winter months, whether or not the city is experiencing severe winter weather.
Violators will face a minimum $150 towing fee, a $60 ticket and a storage fee of $20 per day. Vehicles in violation of the ban will be towed to either Pound 2 at 10301 S. Dotty Ave., or Pound 6 at 701 N. Sacramento.
The ban will remain in effect through the end of March.