Collecting unpaid parking fines is a measure of one’s patience, Parking Clerk John Henry said.
Depending on the car in question, it could also be a lesson in futility.
“With the bigger fines, it really depends on the age and model of the car as to whether we collect,” he said. “We have a lot of people who, once we tow the vehicle, never come to get it. They don’t pay and they don’t retrieve the car and the tow company sells it. We call those throw-away cars and that happens on a regular basis.”
While most people on a regular basis end up paying their parking tickets – albeit begrudgingly – some who run up multiple tickets and large fines never show up to pay those tickets.
Currently, Henry said that the top 10 parking scofflaws on the books at the moment owe the City more than $113,000 in unpaid parking violations.
“It’s an ongoing process,” he said. “We don’t issue tickets for the sake of issuing tickets. We issue them because someone has violated the law in one way or another. We make notification two times a month to anyone with outstanding parking violations. It’s their fault for not coming in to pay the violations.”
One change over the last few years in the Parking Clerk’s Office is the use of more modern technology. Parking Officers now use mobile computerized ticket writers that print out tickets and that read the bar code on any vehicle’s inspection sticker.
Using that technology, Parking Officers are immediately able to tell how many outstanding tickets one has attached to the vehicle. If it’s five or more, they break out the tow truck.
“We do tow on a regular basis for unpaid parking violations,” said Henry. “Once they have five or more unpaid parking violations, by state law we can tow. Just today (Monday, April 30th), we did two tows. One was for $700 in outstanding tickets and the other was for $600.”
While some people just abandon their cars when their fines get too high – as Henry stated above – there are times when the Office reels in a big fish.
Such was the case recently when they collected a $2,100 sum from someone in Revere who had tickets going back to the 1990s.
“The car got towed and the person ended up coming in and paying the $2,100,” said Henry. “They had tickets at least back to the 1990s, so that was a significant one. They said they really needed to keep the car.”
Top 10 Parking Scofflaws in Revere -
(full names have not been used because in the past, when full names were published, it was later learned that some scofflaws were deceased)
1. Arnobio A. of Boston (South End), $2,850
Most of his tickets are from 2008 and are in the Everard Street area.
2. Scott M. of Everett, 2,595
These tickets are almost all in the North Shore Road, Kimball Avenue and Beach Street triangle during 2011 and 2012.
3. Patricia T. of Campbell Avenue, $2,305
All of these tickets are from 2009 and just about every one came right in front of her home.
4. Rowland W. of Boston (South End), $2,090
His tickets all come from 2003 near North Shore Road and Shirley Avenue.
5. Natalie M. of Lynn, $1,995
Her tickets are all from 2008 and are all on Campbell Avenue.
6. Nora G. of Everett, $1,950
Her tickets are all from 2007 and are all in the vicinity of 172 Winthrop Ave.
7. Robert J. of Winthrop, $1,825
His tickets are all from 2011 and are mostly on Crescent Avenue.
8. Juan R. of East Boston, $1,790
This gentleman ran up this huge fine in one month, Nov. 2011, on North Shore Road.
9. Thy R. of Lowell, $1,745
The man ran up this huge fine in less than one month, getting his tickets between June 11, 2007 and June 28, 2007. All of them were on Shirley Avenue.
9. Charles C. Jr., of Bradstreet Avenue, $1,745
This man got all of his tickets in 2004 at the end of Winthrop Avenue near Short Beach.
10. Welton D. of Everett, $1,690
He got all of his tickets in 2009 on Shirley and Nahant Avenues.
Total Owed by Top 10: $113,370