Thursday, October 24, 2013

New City Ordinance Will Allow More Time to Pay Tickets

By Christina Georgiou

Introduced at the City of Easton council meeting Wednesday evening, a new ordinance will modify the existing provisions and allow up to 90 days for those who receive parking tickets to pay their fines before the ticket is sent to the local magistrate's office. Currently, the limit is 60 days.

But, while council members seem favorably disposed to the new measure, which is set to be voted on at their next regular meeting in two weeks, some questioned the logic of the fine schedule.

Councilman Roger Ruggles noted that the fine for parking in three College Hill registered permit parking zones without a permit escalates to a $110 fine if paid 61 to 90 days after the ticket was issued, while other violations escalate to a $95 penalty in the same time period. Both sets of infractions initially carry a $50 fine, if paid within one business day of the violation.

"Someone could park in front of a fire hydrant and they'd pay less of a penalty than this," he said. "I just don't understand why these are the most severe penalties on the list, when I see things on the list that to my mind are much more severe."

Councilman Jeff Warren, who introduced the bill, said he agreed that some of the escalating fine amounts should be looked at and possibly changed before it's passed.

Mayor Sal Panto agreed as well, noting that one infraction on the list, "unauthorized parking on private property" may not be enforceable, as the city isn't allowed to issue tickets to vehicles that aren't in a public space.

City Administrator Glenn Steckman said he'd have the police department review the matter and provide city council members with the results of their review.

Minor changes to the bill could be accomplished with amendments before its passage, the council noted, though if substantial changes are made, it will have to be re-introduced before council votes on the measure.

Increasing the limit of time people have to pay parking fines is part of the city's plan to allow online and electronic payment of those penalties, Steckman said.

No comments:

Post a Comment