Handicapped parking fines jump to $500

January 10, 2014 6:44 am

The council voted 7-2 to lift the fine from the old level of $150.00 all the way up to a wallet stinging $500.00.

“I think we should drop the hammer on anyone who parks in a handicapped space,” councilor Blake Ewing stated.

“We’ve all been frustrated to feel like we’ve seen people not be able to park in those spaces because they’re taken up by some clown,” he went on.

Councilor Skip Steele voted was one of two no votes. Steele put forward the idea of having the tickets go straight to court so a judge could set the fine.

Steele’s theory holds that many times the person ticketed simply forgot their handicapped placard.

But Ewing and councilor G.T. Bynum scoffed at the idea. Bynum said anyone in that situation only has to prove their situation to the court and they wouldn’t be fined.

The other no vote came from councilor Jack Henderson who said “it could be an attempt just to get money.”

The city announced a $7 million shortfall at the same meeting. That crisis will lead to a city hiring freeze and cutback of some services.

With passage, the rule goes into effect immediately.

Do you think raising the fine to $500 is the right move? Leave your thoughts in our comments section below.