No, that THAT amnesty, amnesty for parking tickets. New Orleans is holding a week long amnesty. If you have a past due ticket you can come in and pay it without paying all the fees and upcharges because you were late. What do you think about this?

Many cities do this periodically. So what, says you.  Well, says I, what does that mean to the people that actually paid their fines and fees on time, or paid the penalty because they were a couple of weeks late. Some nincompoop decides to ignore the rules, runs up thousands in fees and fines, and then waltzes in during the amnesty and pay the tickets.  I don’t like it.

Sure, the city will get their money, at least some of it. But doesn’t it smack of letting people "get by" with breaking the law, twice. First they didn’t pay at the meter, then they didn’t pay the fine for not paying at the meter, now they aren’t paying the fine for not paying the fine.  Why have rules at all?  As my British friend says, "are these laws, rules, or simply suggestions?"

Personally I think that the laws should be enforced, and if you don’t pay the fine your car should be immobilized or towed and if you want it back you have to pay all the fees. When you go to register the car at the DMV they should check to see if there are any outstanding parking tickets and if there are, you won’t be able to register the car. If the cops see you driving an unregistered vehicle, they have the car impounded until you follow the law. My guess is that the problems with unpaid parking tickets will go away, as will the problem with cars that aren’t registered.

This is like the broken window theory. If you clean up the broken windows and graffiti, you don’t have as many assaults, robberies, and murders — its proven, it works.  Why should parking be the same. My guess is that if you enforce parking rules and regulations, you don’t have as much littering, vandalism, and cars that don’t meet minimum safety standards.

Amnesty, I think, doesn’t work in any case, including parking.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

One Response

  1. There is also a very sound business reason why amnesty is a bad idea. It sets a horrible precedent. Once the amnesty period ends, revenues plummet because violators figure they can just wait around until the next “amnesty period”. I have seen this happen every time.

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