Fines are fine


Fines are fine

In Helena, Montana, parking officials are considering charging a $20 administrative fee for drivers who don’t pay their ticket fines within seven days, according to The city ticket charges are $10 for expired meters and $25 in timed parking areas. The Helena Parking Commission is trying to recoup $50,000 in unpaid fines and the late fee revenue would go toward the cost of mailing invoices for those unpaid fines.

Between 285 and 400 notices are sent out each month to those who have failed to pay parking fines, it was noted during the parking commission’s meeting.

I think Helena should increase the cost of its initial ticket fines and add a late fee. People don’t take a $10 fine very seriously in the first place, and if there is no added penalty for paying late (or not paying at all) lots of people just pretend the whole thing never happened.

Helena is taking other steps to intimidate bad parkers. In past years, the city has allowed drivers with unpaid ticket balances to pay down their fines with donations of food during the holidays. Now, those who owe more than $75 in fines will receive a few warnings and then the dreaded boot.

As usual, city leaders and city merchants don’t exactly agree on the way to treat people who break parking rules. Business owners want to minimize stress and inconvenience for their customers, while city leaders are trying to keep downtown-area business employees from using up all the most convenient parking. But it sounds like they are all being very civil about the discussion

I’m fine with fines – as long as I know what they are and how to avoid them.

Read the article here.

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John Van Horn

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