Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Everything's bigger in Texas, like a $640 parking ticket'

The title of this post is the headline to a story out of Arlington from the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Here's the gist:
Tweed Clark stopped briefly at the Arlington Municipal Court to pay her daughter's $250 speeding ticket. So, how did Clark end up with a $640 parking violation of her own?

Clark admits that she parked in a yellow-striped space next to a handicap space for a few minutes March 8 but said she never saw a "no parking" sign until after an officer pointed it out to her while writing the ticket.

In Arlington, the fine for blocking access to a handicap parking space — the violation for which Clark was cited — is the same as for illegally parking in a handicap space.

Clark, who is fighting the citation, said she has written and called Mayor Robert Cluck and other city leaders asking them to consider reducing the fine. She also wrote a jeer in the Star-Telegram calling the city "crazy" for how much it charges.

"It's outrageous," Clark said. "I wasn't driving drunk. I wasn't speeding in a school zone."

If Clark had been speeding 35 mph over the limit in a school zone, her fine would have been $324, about half of the parking ticket cost, according to the court's website.


Anonymous said...

Arlington Municipal Court nothing more than a group of whores.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Arlington; a college/grand stadium town that has no mass transit because they don't want "those kinds of people" coming to Arlington....

Anonymous said...

Ticket should have been more. I can't park at times since regular lazy folks take spaces reserved for me and others with handicaps. They are just lazy and never 'notice' restricted parking spots. If these are that uncaring and lazy they need stiff penalties!

doran said...

Anon 3:46: I do hope you are not one of those handicap parking permit people who park, then get out and walk into the theater, or the roller skating rink, or the bar or restaurant, etc.

Point being there is plenty of that going on, also, as well as the illegal parking in handicap places by the cretins and the careless who do that kind of thing.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying to figure out how they use $640.00 for an amount when the max fine for a class C state transportation code violation is $500.00 and the max court costs for a parking violation is $30.00.

See page 3 of document

According to their municipal court fine schedule, a second offense carries a fine of $690, $715 for
3rd, $965 for 4th and $1265 for

Sow how is this? I can see them adopting a city ordinance that conforms to a violation of the transportation code but not exceeding the amounts they can fine an individual for violating a city ordinance that incorporates state law language.

Some interesting violations and fines at their website including Improper Placement Of A Pigeon loft which will cost you $366.00 :)

Retired LE

Anonymous said...

It sounds like she committed the offense prescribed by Section 681.011, Transportation Code.

If she did, and she's a first time offender, the penalty is established by Subsection (g) of that section:

(g) Except as provided by Subsections (h)-(k), an offense under this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $500 or more than $750.

Subsections (h)-(k) provide greater penalties for repeat offenders, up to a fine of $1,250 AND 50 hours of community service.

Anonymous said...

On Thursday, April 29, 2010, at 9:00 am in Room E1.016, the Criminal Justice Committee, Chaired by Senator Whitmire, will hold a hearing with both public and invited testimony on the following interim charges:
Charge 5: Review the detention of juvenile offenders in local jails, state jails, and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison units by examining conditions of confinement, including quality of education, mental health treatment and medical services, rehabilitative treatment, and equality of access to services for young female inmates. Review access to administrative and inspector general grievances in TDCJ facilities. Make recommendations for improving the system and reduce recidivism of juvenile offenders. 
Charge 8: Study and evaluate the success of juvenile probation pilot programs aimed at the community-based diversion of youth form Texas Youth Commission facilities. Make recommendations for needed legislative action and additional programs to increase the number of delinquent youth successfully rehabilitated in their home communities.  
Charge 9:  Consider the impact that secondary education school disciplinary laws and policies have on the juvenile justice system and the adult prison system. Recommend changes, if needed, to current law. 
Note: If submitting written testimony or distributing handouts, please provide 15 copies, with your name on each copy, to the committee when called to testify.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 5:23. The fine range for first offense would make one think this is a Claa B misdemeanor which the municipal court would not have jurisdiction over.

machine said...

What is most sad about this is that it is not so much a means of control but more a way to make the city money. The two problems I have with this is that often the fines don't make any sense, e.g. $640.00 for a parking ticket while her daughters "moving violation" was $250.00 ( a steap but fitting fine). Secondly the accumulation of these fines goes towards expenses that I do not find necessary.

Call me insensitive, but I don't find special parking for the handycap necessary.Ramps for wheel chair access...sure.Zones for loading and unloading purposeful, but if you can't make it 50-100 yards to get from a parking space to where you are going than maybe you shouldn't be driving.

Anonymous said...

For the people who get pissed about handicapped people getting out of their cars and "Walking to the whatever" let me tell you what happened to me when a handicapped space was not available due to an event at a State of Texas owned building. A bar-be-q wagon and parking for state officials took up the handicapped parking area. I was forced to park on the back 40 of an unconnected parking lot about 200 yards from the entrance. About 25 yards into the walk I had a severe asthma attack and passed out. I was lucky because I was found unconscious on the ground by someone. I say lucky because the parking lot is restricted and does not have much traffic at that time of day.

I think many selfish people like to think a person with a handicapped placard don't really need them. I am 100% disabled but can walk like a normal person much of the time. My problem is that my condition can change in the blink of an eye. Due to asthma and a serious lower back condition it can become difficult, if not impossible for me to walk. It is the selfish, know it all, people who think they know what everyone else should be doing that pisses me off.

The above being said, as a handicapped person, I think the $640 fine is too high. I think the fine could be $50 to $100 and have a prohibitive motivation not to park in handicapped spots or block them.

Anonymous said...


Sec. 29.003, Government Code, relating to the jurisdiction of a municipal court, provides:

(b) The municipal court has concurrent jurisdiction with the justice court of a precinct in which the municipality is located in all criminal cases arising under state law that arise within the municipality's territorial limits or property owned by the municipality located in the municipality's extraterritorial jurisdiction and that:

(1) are punishable only by a fine, as defined in Subsection (c); or

(2) arise under Chapter 106, Alcoholic Beverage Code, and do not include confinement as an authorized sanction.

(c) In this section, an offense which is punishable by "fine only" is defined as an offense that is punishable by fine and such sanctions, if any, as authorized by statute not consisting of confinement in jail or imprisonment.

Jennie said...

To Machine

Yes you are insensitive but more than that you are ignorant.

I have chronic asthma and COPD from secondary smoke. Some days are okay and some days are horrible. I also have a 90 year old mother who needs to go to doctors. What would you suggest I do? Have a heart attack as I gasp pushing my 90 year old mother in a wheel chair?

Have some common sense and think before you open your mouth.

Kerry said...

My husband has liver disease and is awaiting a liver transplant. He also has nerve damage in his lower legs that cause him to get severe leg cramps, and he tires quickly. He has a handicapped hang tag. He might appear to some to be able to walk as well as a non handicapped person but that is not the case. Handicapped does not necessarily mean in a wheelchair.

Anonymous said...

Right on Zenith. Some of these idiots don't want to understand and will take these spaces illegally because they are idiots!

Anonymous said...

Machine was just signed up to sit on one of the new Obama death panels.

Anonymous said...

Another exorbitant fine in Texas is is you fail to pay a $1.80 toll fee, then get a bill for 65 dollars in late fees.

Anonymous said...

If it was parking at a city building, the fine is governed by state law. Arlington had no choice in the matter, and those fines were raised in the last legislative session. However, political subdivisions can choose to adopt the same fine range for disabled parking violations on private property under Transportation Code 681.011(f).

And even if the City of Arlington had something to do with it, anyone who thinks someone parking in disabled parking without a hang tag should not pay a fine this high is something much worse than a whore.

machine said...

I am from Florida...the number of handycap spaces in every parking lot averages to be 10 per isle. Most malls average over 150spaces for the handycap, and usually half remain empty...But don't dare park in one without a permit.
Most hospitals and Dr's. offices have figured out a better solution and offer a parking service or shuttles to everyone who wants to use it. Even many of our larger movie theaters offer valet service.

As for the handycap parking epidemic...
Lets do the American thing and create a "War On Illegal Parking" and send all those who park in a handycap space without a permit to prison for a harsh amount of time.

Even better lets tar and feather these inconsiderate lazzy terds and allow all those who they inconvienenced to throw stones at them. That ought to "send a clear message"...Is that what they call "Texas Style Justice"!?!?

To all those who don't like that I have no shame in saying Handycap parking is unecessary...Stop your whinning, my opinion isn't going to change the way society views you.

R. Shackleford said...

Revenue generation, and social engineering through over-criminalization.

Jennie said...

To Machine:

"...I have no shame in saying Handycap parking is unecessary...Stop your whinning, my opinion isn't going to change the way society views you."

And how does it view me? This was never mentioned. It seems like you have a problem with all handicapped people.

I am a productive human with an illness. I elect to work and not get on the public dole. I contribute.

Tennessee allows all handicapped people (with plates or tags) to park for free. Why? This allows them not to have to designate as many handicapp parking places.

But if you still think that anyone needing handcapp parking should not be driving ... then come on over and walk in my shoes. Take 5 kids daily to school and daycare, take care of my 90 year old mother and my 60 year old brother with congestive heart failure. Oh and then put in an 8-10 hour workday.

So I'll park in my handicapp space and use a nebulizer and sometimes a bit of O2 while I manage to contribute to society. Oh and while people like you are obtuse. Do you really think I want to park in handicapp? I would trade lungs any day of the week for some healthy ones.

Kayla said...

I have no problem with handicap parking being available in fact I think them necessary for those who need them. I respect them even if there are people who have permits and don't really need them. I know this for a fact because I have a family member who has one for her daughter but uses it even when she doesn't have her daughter with her.

With this being said, I do think that the $640 fine is too steep for first time offenders. The truth is that there are many people who truly park by accident. Either because the lines are blurred or the sign is not very visible. These people will definitely be deterred from doing it again with even a fine under $100. Its the repeat offenders that deserve the high fines. I think it should start under $100 for the first time and double over each time after that. For example, 1st -$100, 2nd-$200, 3rd-$400, 4th-$800 and 5th-$1600 so on.