The Las Vegas City Council approved a temporary measure that allowed all parking tickets that were due between Oct. 16 And Nov. 16 to be paid off with food donations. Since 2016, there has been an ordinance in the city which authorizes charitable donations to be used for payment of parking fines, but only on special occasions. In this case, the special occasion was the upcoming holiday.
According to a press release from the city:
The Las Vegas City Council unanimously voted in favor of allowing parking tickets issued between today and Nov. 16, 2019, to be paid with donations of food for those in need during the holiday season. Any supplies taken in by the city through the program will be donated to the Helping Hands of Vegas Valley, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides assistance to low income and disabled senior citizens.
Those who have a non-public safety parking infraction in the city of Las Vegas between now and Nov. 16 may resolve their tickets by bringing in non-perishable food items of equal or greater value to their fine to the Parking Services Offices at 500 S. Main St. This must be done within 30 days of the citation date and a purchase receipt for the donation is required. Food items for tickets will be collected until Dec. 16, 2019.
#TuesdayThoughts: There are over 4,000 tickets that qualify for this program. If you received a parking ticket between Oct. 16 and Nov. 16, you may be able to pay your ticket with food donations! pic.twitter.com/Y26bN29Yzi
— City of Las Vegas (@CityOfLasVegas) November 19, 2019
Similar laws to allow food donations in lieu of paying parking fines have been in place in other jurisdictions for a few years now, like Lexington, Kentucky where these types of food drive programs have been active since 2013. In Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, officials are accepting non-perishable food items for parking fines, and crediting residents $5 towards their fees for each item they bring in. However, they have set a limit of $25 per person.
Unfortunately, many jurisdictions are not willing to give up the revenue that they get from traffic fines.
Image Credit: marctran