There is a discussion going on over at the IPMI message board concerning bike lanes and how to keep people from parking there are blocking the lanes for Bicyclists. Fair Enough.
It seems, however, that the District of Columbia has adjusted its rules so PEO’s can choose to give citations or mail them – I quote:
These infractions often happen with people that are in their car (waiting for someone wile parked in the bike lane). So the law has been changed and the officers will have the choice to either print the ticket and serve it to the vehicle, or to document the ticket and flag it for service by mail. By serving these tickets by mail, the officers won’t risk a confrontation with the driver, and they will be more inclined to enforce these infractions.
So let’s see – we are so disliked that we don’t want to even discuss the violations with our customers, and so afraid that they will go off on us that we often let them get away with infractions so we don’t have to even talk to them. We hide and write the ticket and then mail it out.
I understand that the PEOs’ life is a difficult one, and I can see that they would want to avoid confrontations at all cost. But…
How about an alternative. When the PEO comes upon someone in a parked car that is in violation of something or other, rather than issue a ticket, they chat with the person, explain the violation, and issue a warning. No confrontation, no fine. If we find out later, the person is a scofflaw or repeat offender, mail them a ticket (that could be part of the conversation.) “By the way, we will check our records and if you have more than 1 other parking violation in the past year, we will mail you a citation for this violation.”
If the PEOs aren’t writing tickets anyway, what harm could a polite conversation and a warning have. Who knows, it might just create an environment where PEOs are respected rather than hated.