Parking Enforcers Aren’t Nazis

A Salt Lake City writer has been busy chronicling the bad behavior of local parking officials. It seems parking in Salt Lake is an endeavor fraught with legal and financial risks. Paul Rolly of the Salt Lake Tribune says people in the city are being ticketed for having faded permit tags, parking more than 12 inches from the curb in a secluded residential area, and for pausing for 1.5 minutes  to pick up their kids at the curb of the Capitol Theater.

Worst of all is a glitch that causes the meters to fail to register payments or print receipts. Customers think they’ve paid and just don’t have a receipt – but they end up with a fine.

“Benjamin Roberts, the compliance director, told me there are technical glitches with some payments not being registered. He said his office is working with the meter vendor to work out the bugs.” Rolly writes.

All the commotion includes people writing to the mayor and refusing to visit downtown SLC or park anywhere where credit-card capable meters are used. It also includes a radio announcer named Cary Hobbs throwing around the word “Nazi.”

Nobody wants a parking ticket and everybody feels persecuted when they get one. It’s possible parking enforcers are hated only slightly less than dentists. I don’t think that justifies the use of a word the represents the evil of the Holocaust, but some people do.

I got a ticket once that was absolutely a mistake on the part of the enforcement officer. I parked at as meter and put in a pile of quarters; when I returned there was a ticket on my windshield and time left on the meter. I simply followed the directions on the back of the ticket to contest the fine and enclosed a letter outlining the situation and naming the three people with me who could corroborate my claim. The ticket was cancelled. Not a pleasant experience, but nothing at all like a concentration camp.



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