Local News

$1M in Raleigh Parking Tickets Unpaid in 2006

Posted June 27, 2007 11:15 p.m. EDT
Updated June 28, 2007 7:03 p.m. EDT

— You get a ticket, you pay the fine ... right? That’s not always the case in Raleigh.

Drivers have racked up a little more than $1 million in unpaid parking tickets from 2006 alone.

“Most of mine are time related,” said Kim Beasley, who owes several hundred dollars in parking tickets.

She works downtown and often gets hit when her time expires. Beasley said she has probably paid more than $1,000 in tickets in the last five years.

Every year, thousands of parking tickets end up on vehicles in Raleigh. Of the 84,000 written last year, about 30,000 remain unpaid.

WRAL looked through city records and found plenty of people who owed in the triple digits. One license plate has more than $1,200 in fines.

Late fees aren’t cheap. WRAL found people with $250 in tickets who now owe $672.

The total amount for unpaid tickets was originally worth about $500,000 dollars. The amount due doubles will all those late charges.

Unpaid tickets are piling up because the city doesn't currently have a collection agency going after people. In November 2005, the city hired Central Parking System of Raleigh to take parking tickets.

When information was passed from the old company to the new one, City Manager Russell Allen said there were problems verifying tickets that were marked unpaid. He said some of the tickets that were marked unpaid had actually been settled.

Until the files could be updated, the city decided to call off the collection agency. Allen said the city is very close to having a collection agency back on board, but no one is getting a free pass.

“It’s not lost revenue or a lost opportunity, it’s certainly later than we would like for it to be,” Allen said.

For now, the city has a method to stop cars in their tracks. Anyone who has three or more tickets that are 90 days past due gets a boot until they pay up.

To date there are 5,766 cars in that category. Last year, the city was able to collect about $690,000 from parking tickets.