News 12 viewer offers parking ticket solutions

By: Kate Tillotson Email
By: Kate Tillotson Email

Wednesday, June 6, 2007, News 12 First at Five

AUGUSTA, Ga --- In a special assignment last month News 12 exposed the amount of money owed to Richmond County in unpaid parking tickets; seventy-eight thousand dollars over three years. The problem is in collection; the city just can't afford to go after ticket trashers. But we've been getting lots of viewer e-mail with possible solutions.

"I get a few miles in during the day," deputy Johnny Taylor told News 12 last month. He spends forty hours a week marking tires and tearing tickets downtown. But just because he writes them doesn't mean they get paid.

"It's useless, they're not gonna collect," says Jan Mangel. The News 12 viewer watched our special assignment "Ticket to Ride" that exposed more than seventy-eight thousand dollars in unpaid tickets; money Richmond County can't afford to chase down. It bothered her.
"My first thought was everybody's gonna have the attitude 'oh, well'. Heck, I would."

So Jan wrote to us citing two solutions. Threaten violators by towin their vehicles or report them to a collection agency. They're ideas we took straight to City Administrator Fred Russell.

"Do you need to go to that level of enforcement to accomplish our goal?"
asks Russell. He worries that with towing, there are liability and legal issues. So we asked him about collection agencies. Could the county report the names of drivers with outstanding tickets? "There are additional costs there," he says. "The bailiff, the judge's time. If they don't pay we've got to put them in jail and that costs me forty-one dollars a day to keep them incarcerated."

Strapped for resources and funding the county is forced to cut its losses. But Jan wishes it could do more. "Boy, I'd be on that door knocking... 'Excuse me. You pay up or go to jail,'" she says.

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  • by Robert Location: D.C on Mar 27, 2009 at 09:54 AM
    have you put into consideration that the car may be registered in someone else's name, or ticket could have been snatched by a trouble maker.
  • by shaun Location: grovetown on Jun 11, 2007 at 11:34 AM
    hire some to collect tickets and if they do their job they will be colledted. pay up or go to jail. clean road side or do lawn care for people that can not
  • by mary on Jun 10, 2007 at 07:38 PM
    when people dont pay there parking tickets why dont the county just do like the state for when people dont pay for there gas take there driver license away intill the tickets is payed
  • by john Location: augusta on Jun 9, 2007 at 06:31 AM
    Carla, what if they aren't due a refund check???
  • by shannon Location: AIKEN on Jun 8, 2007 at 10:00 PM
    So why not invest in tire boots, on violators with repeated violations, a outright disregaurd for the laws. Put the boot on the tire until they pay the fines?
  • by JOE Location: AIKEN on Jun 8, 2007 at 05:23 PM
    Using the address obtained from the license, send the violator a letter if the ticket has not been paid in a month that their license will be suspended if the ticket has not been paid in 15 days. If after 15 days the ticket has not been paid, the forward the information to the DMV. The DMV will then notify them of the suspension.
  • by JACK Location: CINCINNATI on Jun 8, 2007 at 04:41 PM
  • by Carla Morris Location: Hephzibah on Jun 8, 2007 at 06:36 AM
    How about this. The sherrif's office should have a copy of the tag number, Right? Which should be able to be traced back to the owner of the vehicle. Which can be tracked back to motor vehicles, etc. If they do not pay the ticket or show up for court, then team up with the State of Georgia Income Tax division, and have the ticket plus a reasonable fine taken directly from the person's income tax before they get a refund check. This should be done by every state, not just Georgia. It should be implimented on a nation wide scale. I mean, this isn't like they owe a private business money, this is oweing the city money, which is part of the state. Obviously this could be put into operation, and it would assist every city and state in collecting ticket finess, and an additional fine (say $100) for the State, in this case Georgia, to be collected for having to intervien. Makes pretty good sense. And how can they avoid it except for not paying taxes period? Then the Feds can go after them if they try that stunt. Pass this one along to Fred. I'm not saying it would be easy, but it would darn sure work.
  • by Mary Location: Augusta on Jun 8, 2007 at 06:33 AM
    How about asking for volunteers to assist with this problem. Maybe ex-police officers or retirees could assist the volunteers.
  • by Concerned Location: Thomson on Jun 8, 2007 at 05:46 AM
    No, I do not live in Richmond County but it does sound like a serious problem for them. Has anybody checked to see if maybe it could be turned into DMV so that it will show up that they have an outstanding citation that has not been took care of and maybe they could either suspend their licenses or when it came time to renew them they would not be able to renew thier license until the citation had been paid. Just thought that might be something you could look into that would not cost the county more money.
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