City Clerk’s Office Writing More Parking Tickets
The City Clerk’s enforcement division is reporting a healthy 58% increase in the total number of parking tickets it issued in the six week period following the end of city sticker sales.
One of the City Clerk’s responsibilities is to administer Chicago’s city vehicle sticker program–selling close to 1.3 million each year.
Even though the Chicago Police Department and city Parking Enforcement Aides write most of the city’s parking violations, the Clerk’s office also has an enforcement arm. This enforcement team consisting of six full time investigators with supplemental enforcement coming from five privately contracted enforcement staff, patrols the streets of Chicago focusing on catching scofflaws who haven’t purchased a city sticker for their vehicle.
The Clerk’s office announced their enforcement team has written 5,696 parking tickets from July 16 through August 24–the six week period immediately following the July 15th city sticker grace period. This compares to the 3,602 tickets issued over the same period last year–a more than 2000 ticket increase.
Mendoza has made the pursuit of city sticker scofflaws a priority for the department.
“We are facing some of the hardest economic times – not only for our residents, but also for the City,” Mendoza explained. “Going after the scofflaws – the ones who purposely avoid paying their fair share of the wheel tax – is a matter of equity. It’s simply not right to let some have a free ride while the rest of us pay for them to use our roads.”
But to make things even more painful for drivers doing the decal dodge, is a much more expensive fine for not displaying a city sticker. The fine for failure to display a city sticker was increased last year from $120 to a punishing $200 for most vehicles–a fine that can be levied every day until a city sticker is purchased and applied to the vehicle windshield. Trucks face fines as high as $500.
“People are not happy with the ticket price but most of them realize they didn’t buy their city sticker,” says City Clerks spokesperson Kristine Williams.
The City Clerk’s office calculates the substantial increase in ticketing volume along with the bump in the fine amount will result in an estimated windfall of $470,000 in additional revenue for the city.
“Our work is about fairness, not about tickets,” said Jose Flores, the City Clerk’s office Director of Enforcement. “Imagine going to a restaurant and
expecting the table next to you to pick up their tab and your tab just so you could enjoy a nice meal. That’s the same way you are impacted when people don’t buy their City Vehicle Stickers.”
Revenue from city vehicle sticker sales is allocated towards repairing and maintaining Chicago’s roadways.