Beaufort parking violators will have a one-month window to settle up.
If you owe the City of Beaufort for unpaid parking tickets, here's your chance to pay up. Next month, the city is offering an amnesty program, in which all outstanding fines will be cut in half. But if you still don't pay, you'll get the boot.
Patrolman John O'Neill with the Beaufort Police Department roams the streets of downtown Beaufort looking for parking violators. When he spots an expired meter or an illegally parked car, violators are pretty much guaranteed a ticket. In fact he writes about 50 to 75 tickets a day, with a good portion of them going to repeat offenders.
"There's a lot of repeat offenders out on the streets. A lot of them, I recognize the vehicle and I don't even have to go to the back of the vehicle to write down the tag number," O'Neill said.
The average violator owes about $500 in parking tickets. But there's one violator who actually owes $1,300. Over the years, the city has accumulated about $55,000 worth of unpaid parking tickets, and now it's determined to get the money one way or another. That's why it's giving violators another chance to fess up and pay their tickets. Throughout the month of October, violators with three tickets or more can get away with paying just half the price of their total bill.
"We're doing this because people aren't paying their parking tickets," said Beaufort mayor Bill Rauch.
If violators don't use this amnesty period to pay off their tickets, starting November 1, those who still owe the city money could be subject to the boot. If you get booted in November, you'll have to pay your parking bill in full, plus an additional $50 boot fee. If you still don't pay up, your car will be towed.
Reported by: Jaime Dailey