UPDATE: I left two more messages for the traffic ticket resolution officer and never heard back so I put a $25 check in the mail. The next day he called me. C’est la vie!
Two weeks ago I got a $25 parking ticket for leaving a friend’s car overnight on a street when there was street sweeping. I’ve spent at least two hours fighting it and am ready to give up.
I had parked around the corner from my house on a side street because construction prohibited leaving the car directly in front or to the side of my house, my first two choices. I didn’t notice the street sweeping sign posted the day before (in this small town they prop up temporary signs on the ground instead of affixing permanent signs to a pole). I found the ticket the next day. Drat!
I considered paying it but felt wronged. How was I supposed to know not to park there? Even if I had seen a sign, where was I supposed to park?
I contested the ticket online and made a note on the back of the ticket. Hearing nothing a week later, I called the city’s traffic enforcement office. Ring…ring…ring. No answer. I found another number and called that with similar results. The next day I found a third number and got a live person at the police department, who told me to call the treasurer’s office. The woman at the treasurer’s office told me they only accepted payment and that I should call the records division, which is where I came upon a woman named Ms. Anderson.
Ms. Anderson was very nice, though confused about my claim that I had contested the ticket online.
“We don’t have any way of contesting tickets online,” she said, causing my stomach to drop. If they had never received my form, I was past the 10-day window to contest the ticket “You have to go in person to contest the summons and get a court date.”
“No, really, I contested it online. I can find the form if you like.”
“Where did you get this ticket?”
“On Earl. Earl and Morton.”
“What is the ticket number?”
“095221? Hold on a second.”
“Did you get this ticket at the airport?”
“Because that number doesn’t match any for tickets we issue. Where did you get this ticket?”
“In Newport. Newport, Rhode Island.”
“This is Newport News, Virginia!”
I was so embarrassed I had been calling the wrong numbers I apologized and hung up. I was also relieved. Maybe my online contest form had gotten to the right person on time.
I searched again for a number to call and found the person who handles ticket disputes, a Mr. David Meyers. I called David and got his voice mail. Message.
It’s been 24 hours and I’ve heard nothing. Should I keep fighting – or just fork over the $25? The fine doubles to $50 if I do not pay it by August 21. I’ve already wasted at least two hours to save $25.