Archive for Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Parking ticket costs to increase

April 30, 2003

Those that park illegally in Baldwin could be in for a shock when they receive traffic tickets.

It won't be the ticket that will come as a surprise, but the cost of the ticket itself that will be the shock.

Beginning June 1, the amount of fines for non-moving violations listed on Baldwin's city schedule will be enforced, Baldwin City Police Chief Mike McKenna said.

So instead of just having to pay just the fines like before, which were as little as $5, violators will now have to pay the fines plus court costs -- an increase of at least $30 to $40 depending on the violation.

"The $5 ticket will no longer be in existence after June 1," McKenna said.

The change, he said, is being made in an effort to cut down on the number of non-moving violations in Baldwin.

"The number of parking violations the officers have been writing seems unusually high for a city of this size," he said. "On exploring the violations and fines, it was obvious the fines weren't preventing the violations."

And the fines currently imposed on violators, he said, are not cost effective.

"They don't cover the cost of writing the ticket and processing it," he said.

He hopes by increasing the penalty for illegal parking, the number of violations will decrease.

"The purpose of the fine is to curtail violations," he said. "That's what we hope to do as far as enforcing the rules on the book.

"I anticipate there will be a decrease in the number of tickets officers write in regards to non-moving violations."

McKenna said the police department does not benefit financially from the increase.

"Any fines imposed by the police department go to the city's general fund, not the police department," he said.

Though fines will be increasing, he said violators can expect one thing will remain the same.

"We will do our best to enforce it fairly and consistently across the board," he said.

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