Lexington city officials are considering more than a 15 hundred percent increase in fines for illegally parking in handicapped spots. Under the proposal passed by the Budget Committee Tuesday, the fine goes from 15 dollars to 250 dollars. Committee members had considered a range of fines, but instead, adopted an amendment by Vice Mayor Linda Gorton. “I think this needs to be a stiff enough fine that people won’t do it ever,” said Gorton.
The change in parking fines was brought before the committee by Council member Peggy Henson, who serves on the Commission for Citizens with Disabilities. “People that are disabled that visit our community, that live here, work here, and it’s just a problem that needs to be addressed,” said Henson.
Henson believes a higher fine will catch the attention of motorists and police officers. “It could be an officer thinks it’s not even worth writing a fifteen dollar ticket. I’m not sure what they, but we will also campaign with the police department. We’ve got to get this message out there,” added Henson. Henson says the ordinance revision also calls for changes in handicap parking signage and paving. She says a 60 day education period is included in the proposal, meaning the new fines would likely take effect in mid-spring.