Unpaid tickets add up

Residents warned to pay parking tickets, which can cost more if not taken care of right away, lest their car be towed.

October 10, 2007|By Kelly Strodl

Chronic parking violators beware: The Newport Beach police will tow your car if you have more than five tickets.

Summer’s not only the season for fun at the beach, it’s also when residents rack up most of their parking tickets, so police officials are encouraging drivers to take care of them before they come out one day to get their car and find it gone.

The city pulls in $2 million to $3 million annually from parking tickets, but the main reason for enforcement is to solve some of the parking problems, especially on Balboa Peninsula where some residents take their bicycles out to run errands rather than give up a spot in front of their homes, Sgt. Evan Sailor said.


Cary Perez, who lives on the Peninsula, has seen a number of his neighbors ticketed. It’s not a problem with him because he said he has several garages.

But while he understands that the city has the right to go after scofflaws and collect the fines, he doesn’t think the work should be contracted out to private companies.

“I don’t think people deserve it,” Perez said. “No matter what they have to pay the ticket, that’s enough.”

The problem, as he sees it, is the hassle that goes with retrieving a car from the tow yard.

“If it was easier to get your car out then it would be understandable,” Perez said, adding he thinks most tow companies grab cars illegally, damage them in the process and then cheat vehicle owners.

When asked Wednesday, some Fashion Island employees didn’t seem too concerned about a crackdown on parking ticket scofflaws because they don’t live in Newport and they have a parking spot reserved for them at work.

Shane Kendall, who works at Gary’s men’s clothing store at Fashion island said, at most he’s had only two unpaid violations at one time, and he usually gets them taken care of one way or another.

“It’s not a bad idea,” Kendall said. “I mean five times, that’s a lot of chances to pay. They need to enforce it somehow.”

Someone who racks up five unpaid tickets, though, are likely people who “just don’t care and don’t realize the ramifications of not paying the violations,” Sailor said.

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