City Provides Online System During Parking Fine Amnesty Program

Friday, January 31st 2014, 6:44 pm
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsans with unpaid parking tickets have a chance to pay up.

But the response to three-week amnesty program hasn't been as strong as the city hoped.

It's a carrot and stick approach -- amnesty now or punishment later with higher fines for not paying parking tickets.

There are thousands of cars on the list to be towed, and the list is online so you can check your car or someone else's.

1/31/2014 Related Story: Efforts To Collect Tulsa's Unpaid Parking Tickets To 'Step Up' After Amnesty

In Tulsa, it's easy to ignore parking meters and even parking tickets.

The city has hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid fines.

A lot of people just don't pay them.

"If they have unpaid parking tickets, more than one, they're liable to have their car towed and stored until all the fines and everything is paid, so $15 ticket could turn into $200 or $300 really quickly," City of Tulsa's Bob Bledsoe said.

But for the next week -- the city is offering amnesty.

At city hall, people can pay tickets without the usual late fees.

But a crackdown is coming - starting with the 19,000 cars that have at least two unpaid parking tickets.

Some have dozens because there's not much enforcement.

After the amnesty period, the city says drivers with unpaid tickets might find a boot attached to their car.

To make honesty a little easier, the city posted the tag numbers of repeat offenders online.

It's intended for people to type in their own tags, but it works for reporters, too.

We checked about 25 cars before we came to a black Expedition.

According to city records, it's connected to 10 unpaid tickets.

We didn't go far to find, it's five parking spots from the front door of city hall.

"Oh, that's on the tow list," councilor Phil Lakin said. "We should go report him right now. Is it the mayor's car?"

Reporter: "Is it your car?

Lakin: "No mine is way over there. You probably haven't checked it yet."

The city hopes people will check their own tags and pay up.

"I don't think we want citizens to go out and search for those, but it does allow people who think they might have a ticket and aren't sure if they paid it to check and make sure and if so come in and pay it during the amnesty," Bledsoe said.

You can check if you have outstanding tickets by calling (918) 596-2100 or clicking here. All you need is a tag number.