Proposal to Forgive Certain Parking Tickets Comes to Tulsa City Council

Aug 10, 2018

Credit KWGS News Photo

A plan is before Tulsa’s city council to forgive certain parking tickets if a person decides to leave their car overnight rather than drive home drunk.

While that concept is new, the legal process is not.

"We have systems like this in place for, I think, if you have a ticket for no insurance. You can bring in your insurance and have your ticket dismissed. If you get a citation for no driver’s license but you have it, you just left it at home, you bring in your driver’s license and have your ticket dismissed," said Senior Assistant City Attorney Mark Swiney. "So, this is not unusual to have a system like this."

Councilor Blake Ewing's proposed ordinance would let people present proof of a ride via bus, taxi or rideshare company for dismissal of an overtime parking citation if they pick up their car before noon the next day.

The ticket may not even make it to city court.

"There’s a time period between the time the ticket is written and the time it’s filed in court, and during that time period, the city prosecutor has the ability to decline the ticket," Swiney said. "Once the ticket has been filed in court, then you have to get it dismissed by the court."

Austin, Texas, offers a similar program. Some Tulsa councilors worry the program could be abused, but Austin forgave just a few tickets a month last year.

A group representing downtown Tulsa business owners is supportive of the idea.