6/14/2006DC Lets Political Donors Escape Parking Tickets
Wealthy friends and influential donors to Washington, DC city council members do not need to pay back parking tickets.
Wealthy and influential friends of Washington, DC city council members receive special license plates that, in effect, offer immunity from parking fines. The city council members, who made themselves exempt from parking tickets, also authorized themselves to issue 459 low-numbered license plates that signal police and meter maids that the vehicle owner has friends in high places. If a ticket is issued, it often goes unpaid. Of the 72 current plate holders who have been issued a parking ticket, a total of $20,000 in fines remains unpaid.
Department of Motor Vehicles officials deny that infractions from low-numbered plate holders are ignored. However, unlike ordinary motorists, those with special plates can renew their registration with unpaid tickets on their record. After The Washington Times contacted a number of plate holders about their outstanding tickets, each claimed they would pay off their debt. Some did not know about the tickets. Others knew they owed as much as $1495.
DC generated $69 million in revenue from parking tickets last year.