Unpaid parking tickets in Fresno will catch up with you

If you have an unpaid parking ticket, the city of Fresno says they will catch up with you, eventually.
November 13, 2013 4:22:49 PM PST
It's safe to say nobody likes getting a parking ticket. Elizabeth Trujillo says she got one because she was stuck waiting in line at the courthouse and couldn't get back to her car in time.

Trujillo told ABC30, "I ended up getting this ticket right as I was exiting the superior court."

ABC30 asked, "Do you get a lot of parking tickets?"

Trujillo replied, "Actually, this is the first one ever in Fresno."

After paying a $33.00 fine, she says she will try to avoid another one, but, some never learn, perhaps because they don't pay.

The city attorney's office provided us a list of the drivers with the most unpaid tickets over the past year. All had from 10 to 15 tickets.

City Parking Manager Del Estabrook says a lot of folks seem to put their tickets aside.

"They just forget about them," said Estabrook. "They don't think anybody is checking well in today's age with databases on everything it's pretty easy for us to follow."

Estabrook figures the city collects more than $2 million a year in parking tickets. But that's only half of what are written. He says more money comes in because the state will deduct outstanding tickets from tax refunds. The DMV also puts a hold on driver's licenses or registration for unpaid parking and traffic tickets. But Estabrook estimates about 30 percent of those tickets will never be paid.

Estabrook explained, "They are not registering their cars or they just don't have the money to pay them."

Vehicles with more than five tickets can be towed, if they are found on the street, or booted.

The city's top offender on record, Lynn E. Wess, Sr. racked up 29 parking tickets between 2005 and 2007. His Cadillac with Texas plates hasn't been spotted.

The woman paying her ticket Wednesday has this message for those who don't

"Yeah, come on, you were in the wrong, yeah, you know it happens so you just gotta own up to it," said Trujillo.


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