People parking illegally in San Francisco now have the option of receiving a text message before their vehicle is towed as part of a new pilot program.

The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency called the program the first of its kind and will allow people to receive text messages if a tow truck has been dispatched because of vehicles blocking driveways, parking in construction zones or temporary zones such as for special events, and for parking in spots for more than 72 hours where that is not allowed.

Those violations made up about 27 percent of all vehicles towed in the city in 2020. The program will not extend to illegal parking in peak-hour tow-away lanes, yellow or white zones, hazards or other violations, according to the SFMTA.

If the vehicle’s driver returns before the vehicle is hooked up to a tow truck, it will not be towed but a parking violation ticket will still be issued.

People can register a vehicle for the program on SFMTA’s website.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.