Handicap Parking Fines May Increase In Asheville - WSPA.com

Handicap Parking Fines May Increase In Asheville

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ASHEVILLE, N.C. -

Finding a parking space can be a nightmare, so when you find what many consider a "dream spot," you take it.

"It is kind of frustrating to see someone jump out of their vehicle and run into the store," said Mechelle Holt.

Holt says people who illegally park in a handicap space don't often think about those who really need it.

"I have a child with a disability," Holt said.

After battling drivers in her car, Holt decided to get out and fight.

Holt is a trained patrol with the City of Asheville's Volunteer Handicap Enforcement Program. It was started about seven years ago to help staff and officers patrol areas where people were breaking the law.

The cost of parking illegally in a handicap spot is currently $100, if cited by a volunteer.

The manager of Parking Services wants the fine to be raised to $250, they same as what police can issue and the maximum allowed by the state.

"Some folks don't get the message. They think it is okay," said Harry Brown, manager of Asheville Parking Services.

The city issues an estimated 850 citations a year and while that isn't more than in past years, it's not going down either. That's why Brown wants council to raise the penalty.

He says most of their citations come from volunteers.

City Council is expected to discuss the proposal at their meeting Tuesday night.

We will know what happens. Check back for updates.

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