Tulsa City Hall Offers Parking Ticket Amnesty

Friday, April 17th 2009, 6:08 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The City of Tulsa offered amnesty to people with unpaid traffic tickets, but only a few have taken advantage of it.  A week remains for others who might be interested in fine forgiveness.

A lot of people consider it annoying to park downtown on the meters, but imagine how much worse it would be to park and have your car towed over a $15 ticket.  The city is willing to forgive the fine if people will come and pay up.

Tulsa City Prosecutor Bob Garner keeps track of the amnesty program which is a rare chance for people to pay outstanding traffic tickets without any late fees or court costs.

"And, you never know how these programs will come out, we haven't done a parking amnesty program in this city since the 1980's," said Prosecutor Bob Garner.

Garner says hundreds of Tulsa drivers have unpaid parking tickets which amount to more than $2 million in fines the city hasn't collected.

"You would be surprised how many people or vehicles have outstanding parking violations," said Prosecutor Bob Garner.

Almost all of the tickets were issued downtown, and many to cars that were parked on an expired meter.  The city plans a new effort to track down the outstanding fines after the amnesty period ends.

"And, it's just an opportunity for anyone to come clean at this time and take care of any outstanding parking violations," said Prosecutor Bob Garner.

The amnesty is good for any outstanding parking ticket, but does not apply to moving violations.   It ends on Friday, April 24th.

So far, 269 tickets have been paid, and $5,000 in fines collected, but that leaves $2.2 million worth of tickets outstanding.

At Tulsa City Hall, where drivers can pay the ticket, business is slow two weeks into the program.  Even though many tickets could be cleared with the $15 minimum fine, many drivers choose to risk it instead.      

Just two of those tickets are enough to get a car on the list to be towed and it doesn't have to be parked downtown.  Any officer, anywhere, can have it towed.

There is the chance that people don't know if they have tickets.  You can call the city at 596-7761 with your tag number and they can look it up.