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Don’t give me your hand-me-down parking ticket.

January 12, 2010

Glad I never have to deal with these—or do I?

Parking tickets are not real to me.

Sure, I know they exist, and I see them on the windshields of others, as I walk here or there. But they’re a little like cigarettes for those who don’t smoke. You pass by them all the time in the convenience store or the supermarket, but they hardly register on your radar, since you’d never consider buying a pack.

However, you are aware of secondhand smoke. Similarly, we car-free folk need to be aware of secondhand tickets.

SECONDHAND TICKET = When someone gets a ticket while driving their car for your benefit (visiting you, giving you a ride, etc.)

For instance, a while back when I lived in D.C., my friend drove down from Philly for a weekend visit. As she pulled onto my street, she called me to ask where to park. I was stumped.

Park? You mean like with slides and a swingset? What is this “park” you speak of?

I told her I thought that since it was the weekend, my street was OK. Then, I got distracted by something or other on the stove and let those other-worldly parking ticket concerns drift right out of my head. The next day, as I walked my friend to her car, we both saw the thin white slip flapping in the wind under her wiper.

“I thought you said it was OK to park here,” she said.

“Er, I guess I kind of remember people talking about how the rules had changed a while back,” I said.

I felt guilty for not having had enough knowledge of my neighborhood’s parking laws to assist visitors. I felt bad that my friend, who’d already paid in time and gas money to come visit me, now had a ticket to pay on top of that.

But I felt a little defensive too. How am I supposed to know about the parking restrictions? I don’t drive.

I decided to send my friend money to pay for half of my secondhand ticket (which I think was $30). I figured the ticket was at least as much her responsibility as it was mine, so a 50/50 split would be fair.

To this day, I’m not sure I did the right thing.

What do you think? Should I have paid the whole ticket? Are non-drivers who benefit from drivers to be held accountable—partially or wholly—for parking violations? What about more serious violations, like speeding or even accidents? Share your thoughts, won’t you?


6 Comments leave one →
  1. Melanie Evans permalink
    January 12, 2010 1:35 pm

    Hi Amy!! Happy New Year!!! I love your posts….always thought-provoking.

    I understand your dilemma…..I think your 50/50 split is reasonable. I’ve had the same dilemma (but was on the car-driver side). I drove 3 of my friends to the mountains for a weekend. On the trip up I-70 outside of Georgetown, a rock (about the size of a baseball) rolled off the mountainside and right onto the passenger side of my windshield. As you can imagine, it left a HUGE dent but thankfully didn’t go all the way through the windshield AND I didn’t react or swerve and end up with a bigger problem! Since it was my car, even though I my driving benefited 3 of my friends as well, I was responsible for the damage, including the insurance deductible, for the accident……no one offered to contribute to the problem. I sort of felt like they should have at least offered to help out……so you’re at least part of the solution!!!

    Try to stay warm!!! I’m assuming you’re having bitter cold in your area. Are you biking in that weather?


  2. Layton permalink
    January 13, 2010 2:59 am

    Street signs are for everybody to see. They cant doop you into thinking you can park without any repercussions. Thats why street signs exist. I hate parking tix, but thats what you have to get when you dont follow the rules. Me, no car, no parking tix. If I drink beer on the subway, I get in trouble. Accept the rules. Nice Job. Amy


  3. avaerewyck permalink
    January 13, 2010 12:57 pm

    Love the comments, Melanie and Layton. Keep ’em coming!

  4. Gardens alot permalink
    January 13, 2010 3:03 pm

    Obviously, you should have admitted your lack of knowledge about parking restrictions from the get-go or paid the entire ticket. What’s with the 50-50 thing? The responsibility was all yours the moment you offered a reply to the query.

  5. Amy permalink
    January 14, 2010 7:58 pm

    Hi Amy,

    Hope you’re having a great time in Italy!

    I think if I invited someone from out of town and told her where to park, and then she got a ticket in that spot, I would feel responsible and pay for it. We are lucky to have lots of parking space here, except at the beach, and now before we take guests there, we reserve a space by parking a car in the small lot at the crack of dawn. That bit of planning has worked well for us so far.

    Enjoying your blogs, although I’m behind. I see there is another one today. And yes, you are too sexy for your car!



  6. avaerewyck permalink
    January 18, 2010 1:46 pm

    Thanks for your comment, Amy. I see your point, and I love that people chimed in with their opinions. Hope you’re doing well too!

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