|Updated: 1/10 12:46 pm
||Published: 1/09 5:17 pm
Fines for illegally parking in handicapped parking spots will go from $150 to $500 after the City Council approved a new ordinance Thursday night.
As a disabled veteran with a handicapped placard, Dan Holmes is sick of walking farther because somebody else is lazy.
"It's a shame that people that can't walk have to park five, six, 10 parking places away from a handicapped spot because some young person thinks it's a good idea to use granddad's handicapped placard," said Holmes.
It's even more frustrating for him that he thinks they don't even care.
"I have had the opportunities to say something to people, and they're like, 'Eh, mind your business. 'Well, it is my business. I'm entitled to park there. You're not," he said.
He's hoping a $500 fine will make them think twice. So does City Councilor G.T. Bynum.
“A $500 fine is a lot scarier than a $150 fine," said Bynum.
Bynum said police and volunteers for the city report a significant number of violations all over town.
Part of the problem, though, is "with the fine at the level that it is, we can't pay for adequate enforcement," he said.
The money from the fines goes into the city's general fund and Bynum said that will help pay to have more parking enforcement officers.
"This isn't about bringing in revenue for the city. This is about having a funding source that will allow us to adequately enforce the ordinance and protect handicapped Tulsans," he said.
Increasing fines is something Holmes supports and even thinks should be taken a step further.
"(It should be) $500 for a first offense, and then $1,000 for every offense after that. And if you're using somebody else's card, they should take it," Holmes said.
The City Council approved the proposal and it will go into effect next week.