The City of Greensboro has had a continual problem collecting parking ticket fines and is once again asking for help from the state.
An item on the legislative agenda that was presented to the Guilford County Legislative Delegation last week asks for Greensboro parking tickets be linked to the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles annual vehicle registration.
In short, Greensboro doesn’t want vehicle owners to be able to renew their NCDMV registration until any outstanding Greensboro parking tickets are paid.
The state would in effect be in charge of collecting outstanding parking fines for the City of Greensboro, which is currently owed about $2 million in parking fines.
Although there are many reasons why the DMV might not want to get into to the parking fine collection business for the City of Greensboro, Rep. Pricey Harris brought up an objection that has nothing to do with the complexities involved in such a system, or the fact that the NCDMV is not likely to provide this service for Greensboro and not other cities in the state.
Harrison brought up the fact that this could severely affect those at the lowest income levels who wouldn’t be able to legally drive their cars to work if they had an outstanding parking ticket.
She said, “A lot of people who don’t have a lot of money could be hurt pretty badly by this.”
Councilmember Sharon Hightower, who voted in favor of the legislative agenda, said, “I don’t want it to disenfranchise those that find themselves in an economic situation that prevents them from paying fines.”
She added, “While we want to get the fines paid, are we not creating another barrier so that people can’t get to work.”
Councilmember Justin Outling noted that in other situations the city has waived or reduced people’s fines based on their ability to pay.
Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann asked if the city would be able to segregate the list and only use the NCDMV for habitual offenders.
It seems like the City Council might have discussed how this process would actually work and if they were in favor of it before including it on the legislative agenda.