Thursday, August 25, 2016

A Parking Ticket Writer's Opinion on Parking Tickets

Walk, check for a permit, walk, check for a permit, walk, check for a permit.....

Walk, check the meter, walk, check the meter, walk, check the meter.....

Almost every day, I leave my apartment to walk through parking lots for several hours at a time with the sun on my neck, and my handheld and printer hanging by my side. In a bright orange and yellow vest, I'm anything by subtle when I'm walking through rows and rows of cars - which is both a good and a bad thing.

Some days people will see me in a parking lot after finding a ticket on their windshield, come over, and try and get me to undo the ticket they received. I've heard every excuse in the book... things like "I was only gone for a minute" "I have no where else to park" "You don't understand, I had an emergency" "The meter just barely expired" "I'm sorry I'm late, the meeting ran longer than the amount of time I paid for at this meter" as well as things like "Well why can't you just take it back?" "I don't understand why I was given this ticket" "You can't give me a ticket" and (my personal favorite) "I don't have time for this".

Something I don't think people realize is that for every person who is angry about being given a parking ticket there is someone else calling and complaining about not being able to park in a lot that they bought a permit for - especially when it's because of people without permits or the wrong permits. 

I understand that no one wants to be given a parking or a meter ticket. Nothing ruins a day faster than seeing the thin slip of paper flapping in the wind underneath a windshield wiper, but keep in mind that I'm just a person trying to pay for college - I'm not excited about you getting a parking ticket either.

After a ticket has been printed, I can't do anything about it. It's out of my hands and into the hands of the Traffic Court and the Transportation Department - so no matter how much I get yelled at I can't "take it back".

Even though it may not seem like it, I do my best to be fair about how I write tickets. Our handhelds let us know if a vehicle has been issued a ticket before, which means that my only option is to issue another ticket. If someone's vehicle comes up clean then I'll write them a warning (which costs them no money) with the hope that it'll be enough to keep them from parking incorrectly again (and yes, it comes up in my handheld when someone has gotten a warning before, which also means I can only write them a ticket).

Unfortunately, just by walking up to a car I can't tell how long it's been there or whether or not the driver had an emergency or if their meeting ran long. It doesn't help that the meters in the lots don't say how long they've been expired.

The vehicles most definitely don't tell me what their drivers do and don't have time for.

When I'm going through the lots, all I see is a car without a permit, the wrong permit, or an unpaid meter. My job is to ticket them when I see them, so that's what I do.

I hope this gave you a little bit of insight into what I do and what it's like to write parking tickets.
I'll see you on Tuesday

No comments:

Post a Comment

 photo side.jpg
 photo copyright.jpg
envye template.