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City Council approves raising fines for illegally parking in handicap spots

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Reported by: Ian Silver
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.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

karlschneider - 1/10/2014 12:19 PM
2 Votes
An alarming percentage of "disable" people are actually as healthy as a horse, viz: Retired NY cops...

Unwashed Mass - 1/10/2014 11:20 AM
1 Vote
That those issuing tickets are immune from the law is just more salt in the wound.

Mayor Maynot - 1/10/2014 5:32 AM
0 Votes
What you may see when youth is perched in handicapped might be a youngster helping a handy app by giving them a ride to the store.

Unwashed Mass - 1/10/2014 12:55 AM
1 Vote
An able bodied person in a handicapped spot is despicable, but even the handicapped get burned when their decals expire and they dont have the means to keep up with the city's revenue-raising scheme. This does NOT help the handicapped.

Mayor Maynot - 1/9/2014 7:38 PM
1 Vote
I know some really need the sanction that handicapped parking provides. $500.00 is just too much. Find another way like sending the parking violator out with the county Sheriffs department to pick up trash. It can't all be about money. Make some of it labor.
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