8/15/2008California: $500 Ticket for Tire Cleaning
Cleaning meter maid chalk off of your tires could merit a $500 ticket in Belmont, California.
The Belmont, California City Council voted Tuesday to make it a crime to wipe off chalk markings from your tires. City meter maids frequently use chalk to mark parked cars to determine whether or not they have moved over a certain period. Cars that stay in one place beyond the limit set by the city become an easy target for an expensive ticket, but drivers who desire to keep their tires free from such markings face an even greater fine of up to $500.
Belmont officials claim that city revenue is imperiled by rampant tire cleaning.
"This has occurred in all areas of the city, but is a particular issue in the Old County Road and Villa Avenue areas, where auto repair shops are operated," Belmont Police Department Captain Daniel J. DeSmidt explained in a memo to the city council.
The fines of between $100 and $500 apply not just to vehicle owners, but also to nearby business owners accused by a meter maid of involvement in a tire cleaning scheme. As the penalty is levied under civil procedures, fine recipients have the burden of proving their innocence under a preponderance of the evidence standard. Belmont is not the first city in San Mateo County to crack down on clean tires. A similar ordinance is in effect in San Carlos. The Belmont ordinance faces a final vote on September 8 before becoming law.
A full copy of the tire chalk ordinance is available in a 30k PDF file at the source link below.