Salisbury approves of fine increase for parking violations

Published 12:10 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council approved of an ordinance to update parking fines by increasing the fee amount from $5 to $25. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, blocking an alley, parking too far from the curb, and parking in a reserved space in relation to the new downtown parking pilot program.

“The parking study that was done in 2019 said that our $5 fine was not sufficient and that it should go up and that was a recommendation based on looking around at other towns and cities,” Police Chief Jerry Stokes said.

Back in January, overtime parking fines, where someone is parked for more than two hours in a two hour zone, was increased from $5 to $15. This will stay the same at $15, along with the $100 fine for parking in a handicap spot. On the other hand, the city also approved that their repeat offender fine will decrease from $75 to $50.

The growth of the downtown area made the need to crack down on parking violators and be more proactive in collecting overdue fines essential to the police department, compared to several years ago when downtown wasn’t as developed.

“At the time that I think those perspectives were in place, downtown was not as growing as it is, so there maybe wasn’t a need to re-look at that. We want to re-look at that and re-set. When people are violating the law, they should suffer the penalty and we need to make sure they are paying their fine,” Stokes said.

Though there are no official plans by the city on how to spread the word to the public that fees have gone up, Chief Stokes is confident the department can implement strategies in order to do that.

“We can certainly do some social media campaigns and push some press releases out. We’ll work with the communications department to do that, we’ll have a little bit of a grace period, we got to order new tickets.”