Parking Violation in These US Cities Could Burn A Hole In Your Pocket
Driving in several US cities has become a significant cause of stress – The increasing number of vehicles, traffic congestion, and rising road accidents. Remembering a bunch of parking rules and signs is so stressful and greater stress for paying hefty parking fines, and you have the perfect recipe for mental cancer in your hands. Although parking fines in US cities differ, the expensive fines are collected in larger cities.
Top 3 most expensive US cities for parking fines
1. New York
As one of the most popular and densely populated cities in the United States, New York has parking woes and hence, parking violations. NYC has the most parking fines among US cities. It is owing to overpopulation, an overabundance of parking signs, and parking rules. For example, in 2018, New York brought in $181.5 million in commercial parking fines, of which FedEx incurred around $14.9 million and UPS, a whopping $33.8 million.
Most of New York City's parking fines easily cost over $100. For example – the city charges a $115 fine for parking or even stopping your vehicle in a spot where the parking signs or traffic control devices tell you not to. In addition, $65 fine is charged for parking at an angle to the curb and facing a pedestrian ramp; a shocking $165 is penalized.
Your best bet to avoid getting fined in New York City is to opt for mass transit, ride-sharing services, parking in lots and garages, and be thoroughly conversant with the different parking rules, regulations, and signs.
2. San Francisco
Finding a legal vacant parking spot in San Francisco is becoming increasingly alarming. No wonder drivers often find themselves in two-way zones, blue zones, double parking, or blocking driveways. And the city's parking rules and regulations show no mercy for such violations. According to a study by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, San Francisco has the highest parking fines in US cities. On average, around $124 million in California is collected as parking fines from San Francisco alone. Like New York, one of the main reasons behind such a heavy fine for parking violations in San Francisco is the city's massive size.
The highest parking fines are charged on vehicles parked in blue zones reserved for differently-abled drivers. The fine for such a violation is a whopping around $866! Other violations related to the blue zone areas, such as the fraudulent use of a placard, are also fined $866. The violation related to blue zone areas is comparatively very strict in San Francisco than in other US cities.
For instance – Parking fines are $280 for occupying a zone designated for differently-abled drivers in Oakland, and the fine for falsely using a placard is $513. Though these are in no way a low price to pay for violating parking rules, they certainly appear to be so when compared with San Francisco. However, it is a different scenario regarding fines for double parking. On the one hand, double parking is fined $41 in Oakland; on the other, San Francisco charges $110 for the same.
Moreover, if you end up parking in a city of San Francisco bus zone, you will instantly be fined $288! Blocking a wheelchair's access ramp is also fined the same amount. Two other fines associated with driving are on the drivers' alert list – Illegal driving in an HOV lane fined $490 and violating a traffic light also fined $490.
San Francisco's people's most common parking fines are Three Percent Grade Ticket, Parallel Parking Ticket, Curb Cut Ticket, Broken Meter Ticket, and 72-hour Ticket.
High driving & parking fines are charged to keep driver's road behaviors under check. Drivers would try to be more aware of parking laws, streets, and parking signs to avoid earning a trip to Ticket City.
When it comes to parking violations, the windy city of Chicago has no mercy to offer. Many people have even gone into bankruptcy due to parking tickets. The most strict practices of the city include blocking a handicap ramp or feeding the parking meter in a zone meant for 2 hours of parking. In addition, you can be charged a fine as high as $150 for parking or even standing in a zone meant for bicycles, and if you are doing the same parking offense for differently-abled drivers, you may be charged a whopping $200!
And for those unable to pay parking fines for whatever reasons (mostly genuine lack of money), the fines keep piling up, and the city even collects a 22% collection fee. So, for example, if you get a parking ticket for $100 and you are unable to pay immediately due to a shortage of money, the parking fine will keep on increasing with time and add to it the 20% collection fee, and you could end up with a fine of around $200 at your hands!
In light of these issues, the city's Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, is planning to change ticketing policies to help low-income drivers who lose their cars due to failure to pay parking tickets on time. The plan includes granting more time to drivers facing financial hardships and stopping the practice of issuing multiple tickets on the same day for vehicle sticker violations. In addition, doubling parking fines after 83 days brings the practice of suspending drivers' licenses for non-moving violations to an end, among others.
The best thing you and any other driver can do is avoid getting a parking ticket, especially in one of the cities mentioned above, by staying aware of the parking rules and signs. Failing that, the next best thing to do is to pay the parking fine on time, as there could be serious repercussions otherwise. For example, fines increase if you fail to pay on time, traffic wardens may boot your car or impound your vehicle, and you could end up in court; you may garnish your tax return, your credit score will suffer, and your insurance rates will rise, and much more.
Hence, it is never wise to skip paying parking fines on time, especially when it's in your power to make timely payments.
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