How to Avoid a Parking Ticket

Cities around the world use parking inspectors for revenue raising. The best way to avoid paying a parking ticket is to park legally and avoid ever getting one.

Steps

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    Ride public transportation into city centers and congested areas. The simplest defense against parking violations is not to park in areas that are heavily patrolled.
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    Read signs and notices carefully, and obey them. Watch for time limits, red curbs, and hours and days when parking is restricted, even for street sweeping. Also watch for driveways, fire hydrants, handicapped parking, loading zones, and other things that should not be blocked.
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    Assume parking time limits are enforced. Set a timer, and do not exceed the posted time limit.
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    If parking is metered, pay the meter. Then, set a timer in your phone or wristwatch, or carefully note the time before you walk away. Remember to allow enough time to leave and reach your vehicle before the time expires.
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    Bring money to pay for parking in paid garages and lots. Many cities have them, and paying for parking is generally cheaper than paying a ticket.
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    Read the information on any parking pass or permit you buy. Should you leave it visible in your car or on your dashboard? Should you take it with you and pay before leaving? If there is an attendant, ask questions before you leave.
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    Allow extra time in your trip to find parking. Especially if there is a big event or you anticipate heavy traffic, leave early. There may be more legal parking places available, and you will be less tempted to cheat or chance it.
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    Park some distance from your destination and walk. Depending on your location, there may be legal street parking available if you don't mind a walk.
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    Keep your vehicle registration current and your vehicle in good repair. Even a legally parked vehicle may attract enforcement attention if it appears to be abandoned or if the tags are expired.
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    Park facing the same direction that traffic drives on that side of the street. This may mean making a U-turn or going around a block, but it may also mean avoiding a ticket.
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    Park in marked spaces, if spaces are marked. This is true even for parallel parking.
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    Try out websites and smart phone applications. Some can help you find parking; others can warn you if there has been heavy enforcement in an area.

Tips

  • If you visit a location often, take some time to learn the ins and outs of parking there. Is it free and legal to park on the street outside of business hours? Is there a side street without parking restrictions? Do others report heavy enforcement?
  • If you do get a parking ticket, pay it as soon as you can. Parking tickets that go unpaid accumulate additional fees and fines.

Article Info

Categories: Fines and Road Offenses