City of Salem Vows to Strictly Enforce Downtown Parking Rules
This headline is pretty much the stamp of failure. If you create rules, enforcement should be a no-brainer. If you have to make a vow to enforce your own laws, you’re telling people there’s a possibility you might not.
It’s an empty threat anyway, because every driver out there knows there are areas where parking regulations are not enforced, either at all, or consistently. City leaders say they will enforce laws, hoping that by saying so, citizens will be just nervous enough about being cited that they won’t try to push the limits.
I think a better approach would be to stop warning people and bump up enforcement 50 percent on random days during the month. If you can’t really send out staff to write tickets every hour of the day, create a sort of parking roulette feeling for violators. They won’t like the odds.
That’s the way it works with speed traps. Once a month there’s a police officer hiding at the corner of a street I drive down frequently. I know he’s going to be there, but I never know when. I slow down every time I come to that intersection just in case he’s waiting.
It’s not an ideal plan, but it’s better than idle threats.