Raising abandoned car fines a welcome move

Posted: Wednesday, June 07, 2000

The city assembly has upped the fine for those who dump abandoned cars and we're all for it. The recent spat of idiots who don't care enough to take care of their own junk need to be stopped and this is one way to do it.

The fine now will be $295, and if you fail to send in your transfer form and claim you sold it - a common excuse - that will cost you another $295. Add to that the fact the city will also ask the judge to make those who junk their cars pay for the city's cost of removal, which could be another $295, and we're finally getting to a sufficient penalty.

We're also all for Assembly member Jim Powell's idea, who wanted to raise the fine to $1,000 or $2,000. Apparently, however, city ordinances state that any fine over $300 - if contested - could result in a jury trial, which in the long run costs the city more, especially if a public defender is needed. Currently, fines under $300 are dealt with before a single judge and defendants must make their own case or hire their own attorney.

So let's move forward with Assembly member Tom Garrett's idea, who wants the city attorney to investigate the rationale and legality about the $300 cap and see about raising it.

We are fortunate to live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world. It's sickening to see it spoiled by those who simply don't care; who simply won't take responsibility for their own property and deal with it.

The assembly was right on the money to raise the fines, and we hope those fines will be raised even more if possible and cost-effective from the city's legal standpoint.



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