Now I’m beginning to understand why the Brits are so up in arms over parking enforcement. They are living in Neverland. Read this article. When you get to the part where they say that one of their issues is that local government is using parking fines to fill the coffers of the city and not to keep the streets clear and traffic moving, don’t hurt yourself when you fall on the floor laughing.
Then take a look at my comment on Quotas and the British Response from Manny Resores here.
Its all the same. They are incensed that they have to pay for parking, and that when they break the law someone actually asks them to pay a fine. Prior to "decriminalization" of parking, the only people who could write parking tickets were the police. So naturally, they weren’t too aggressive at writing tickets, since they were probably out chasing bad guys and the like. No policeman likes parking or traffic duty — its at the bottom of the pecking order. When you signed up for the police department, you thought you were going to chase baddies and shoot drugged out psychos. You didn’t think you were going to be giving a ticket to a blond who took a couple of extra minutes in the department store.
Now, Britain has folks who are hired to write tickets. There is no doubt what they are to do. So they write em and the citizenry are not happy.
But the part about the lining the coffers of the local government with money from parking is hilarious. Of course local governments are balancing their budgets with parking fees and fines. Give the government the ability to collect money and it will. Period.
The problem isn’t that they are collecting the money, its what they are using it for. As all true Shoupistas know, they should be putting that money right back into the infrastructure, lighting, security, and the rest. Make the neighborhoods where the money was generated a better place to live. Complaints would go to zero if the person who parked next to the fire hydrant realized that the money paid for the fine when to keep the garden next to the hydrant trimmed, or for new street furniture, or better lighting.
But, naturally, governments being what they are, the money disappears into the "general fund" and its gone forever.
I’d be mad, too. However here in the US we are used to being screwed by the local government and having our money taken and little returned. So what the heck. No reason to be upset, its just how things are, right.