November 7, 2005
Whether you have parked in a no parking zone for just a minute, or tried to get away with parking in a two hour spot just a little over two hours, you have probably come back to the car to find we?ve been slapped with a parking ticket.
Drivers agree parking violators should be fined but they believe the parking laws and signage should be clear and visible.
The fine print on the tickets state, 'this fine doubles if not paid within 96 hours.'
Four days is a lot less than what other cities offer drivers. In Richmond, drivers have 15 days to pay. Alexandria and Arlington give drivers a 30 day grace period.
"96 hours. I was shocked to find out that all the time I have," said a Charlottesville driver.
96 hours down to the minute to pay your fine (weekends and holidays included) or it doubles.
"It's just not enough time," said one driver. " have a ticket at home I got about a week ago and now it must have doubled."
You can always contest it.
"There are a lot of angry people in there right now," said one woman outside the courthouse contesting a parking ticket.
Treasurer Jennifer Brown says the city upped the time you have to pay a fine from 48 hours to 96 hours in 2001 because they wanted to get in line with Albemarle County's pay schedule.
The only problem is Albemarle County tells us they have a lot of rural area and don't issue as many parking tickets as Charlottesville.
The city says they make $600,000 a year giving out about 30,000 tickets.
And they tell us there are other places like Waynesboro where fines go up in 48 hours and in Lynchburg where fines increase in 72 hours.
City Councilor Rob Schilling tells us, if you want the parking signs or the laws changed you must petition city council to start the process.