HARRISBURG – The Senate passed legislation today that would allow more than 50 Pennsylvania cities to utilize Parking Authorities to enforce and adjudicate parking ordinances, removing a substantial burden from law enforcement and the judicial system of those municipalities, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-13).
Martin’s legislation would give all cities of the Second Class A and Third Class the option to shift the responsibility of enforcing parking laws from the court system to the city’s parking authority. Under current state law, only Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have that authority.
Martin said the change would allow many cities to streamline the process of enforcing parking laws, collecting fines and settling disputes.
“In most cases, it is a poor use of time and resources for police to enforce and district judges to deal with disagreements regarding parking tickets, unpaid fines and other issues that could be better handled by the parking authority,” Martin said. “Transferring jurisdiction from the courts to the parking authorities should result in a more efficient and effective system of collecting fines and resolving disputed violations.”
Although parking authorities would be the first point of contact for settling disputes, city residents could still appeal a decision by the parking authority to the courts if they are dissatisfied with the ruling.
Lancaster is one of the cities that could benefit from the proposal.
“This legislation would help level the playing field for cities like Lancaster and help save valuable time and money for both the court system and municipalities,” said Mark Vergenes, Chair of the Lancaster Parking Authority and President of the Pennsylvania Parking Association. “We are extremely supportive of Senator Martin’s efforts to improve the current process and create a system that is better for the city and its residents.”
Senate Bill 736 was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The House passed similar legislation in the previous legislative session.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535