City Of Frederick Makes Fans By Forgiving Parking Tickets

FREDERICK, Md. (WJZ) — Seeing a parking ticket on your windshield can ruin your day.

But as Suzanne Collins reports, in the city of Frederick, they may be able to turn that frown upside down.

The city of Frederick has a different breed of parking enforcement officer: reasonable and, more importantly, granted the authority to forgive tickets.

“They’re going to tell their friends, `Hey, I was in downtown Frederick, I messed up, I should have gotten a ticket and they let me off.’  That person’s going to tell the next person and say, `Hey, that sounds like a good place to go,’ so we  get a lot of repeat business, we get a lot of new business,” said Mayor Randy McClement.

The mayor is thinking it’s good PR.  Some Frederick taxpayers agree.

“If they are out-of-towners and they come here to shop and eat, I guess you could look at it as an investment, you know,” said resident Sean Pratt.

In 2010, the city of Frederick voided 1,023 tickets.  That’s almost 20 a week.  The mayor figures that cost about $35,000.  But police, who also give tickets, say real abusers won’t get away with anything.

“If you come here with a willful intent to illegally park, you’re going to get a citation and you’re going to have to pay it,” said Lt. Clark Pennington.

There’s also another way to get out of a ticket in Frederick.  If you get a parking ticket in Frederick and you take it to the parking office in 30 minutes, you don’t have to pay.  You can do that three times in a year.  That longstanding program cost the city another $39,000 last year. 

Business people wish there were signs telling customers about the policies and also a way to pay without quarters.

“At Christmas time, people get upset because of the parking policies.  They get frustrated because there’s no parking or have to have quarters and it makes them not want to come into the shops,” said Liz Omenhiser, Classic Cigars.

Forgiveness has been granted for confusion over parking rules, forgetting to hang handicapped placards and, if you have an out-of-state plate, you are very likely to get a break.

The biggest reason for tickets being forgiven in Frederick is because the driver returned before the ticket was placed in the wiper.

  • marc bagby

    come on baltimore…why not ?

  • deadernie

    come on baltimore…why not ?

    It’ll never happen in Baltimore. Had my car towed from a spot with time on the meter 20 minutes before it became a no parking zone. I even got to the impound yard under Rt. 83 before it was time to move my car from the space it was LEGALLY parked.

    Still had to pay a hefty fine to get my car back.

    F*ck Baltimore. I’ll never shop, eat, or go to any other event in the city.

  • chalkie

    This will never happen here. Have you ever seen the meter maids writing tickets as fast as the tow trucks can hook up to them. This is a daily thing around the University of Maryland Hospital and Shock Tramua. I worked down for awhile. These people are really writing tickets up 10 minutes in advance of it becoming a no parking area at 7 or 8 a.m.. I had a nurse that knew I work there flag me and said give her a second she was pulling out, so I could have the parking space on the little side road there. She was pulling out, I had my turn signal on and slowly moving forward, when one of the city a$$hole walks up throws the ticket through my window and yells and said thats for double parking. Now I was never in park, never left my truck, and never stopped edging forward to that parking spot. Only thing I can say is the Judge I drew was Judge O’Malley. She threw the ticket out of court, made the meter maid sit down on the side til thier was a break in court, had 1 of her people call and made her supervisor come down to the court house. Reemed both of them out, made them both say they were sorry. Asked me if i could give them a moment alone. Told me she was sorry I had to go through this and then told me that the meter maid was just suspended for a week with out pay. But just saying they have 4 to 8 people writting tickets and 4 to 5 tow trucks yanking them as fast as possible down there Monday thru Friday.But the city don’t make money. I was told a average day right on Baltimore street is 10 to 15 cars in a 2 block area. Now if I remember right it was $150 for the tow and $100 for the impound fee, thats what I was told by a co worker that had thier car towed from thier.

  • middleriver girl

    You are correct on that fine fee.I was 3 minutes late coming out of C.M court house. Found my car GONE! Baltimore should show a record in court fines and Tow fines. That would be interesting!

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