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La Grange offers first-ever parking ticket amnesty program

Anyone who has fewer than five parking tickets that they haven’t paid in La Grange may be off the hook for those stiff late fees and penalties if they pay the face value of the tickets by April 30.

In recognition of difficult economic times, the village for the first time is offering a parking ticket amnesty program.

Police Chief Michael Holub said Thursday there are between 400 and 500 people who have up to five tickets who would qualify for the program. The tickets are usually for $30.

Holub said the village decided to offer the program because of the tough economic times and job losses that people may be facing. He said the village had noticed since 2009 a reduction in the number of people using  village-owned commuter parking lots and suspected it may be due to job losses.

“Those difficult economic times were apparent to us in La Grange with the diminished number of vehicles utilizing our parking areas,” he said.

Holub is sending a letter announcing program, which starts now, to those people who have delinquent parking tickets. In addition to the tickets on their cars, he said people in arrears for parking tickets receive three notices about an unpaid violation.

“Perhaps in some cases you may have had to prioritize your dollars; in a few limited cases you may have simply forgotten about the citation,” he wrote in the letter.

He said it is the village’s policy to boot vehicles with more than five tickets. The village also uses a collection agency to help collect past-due amounts. He said unpaid tickets can also lead to the suspension of one’s driver’s license. But he would prefer to see the tickets paid than go to a collection agency or court.

“I’ve never been a fan of having parking tickets as a reason for suspending a license,” he said.

Payment can made in person or sent to: La Grange Police Department, 304 W. Burlington Ave., La Grange, IL 60525. Credit cards are accepted and checks should be made payable to Village of La Grange. For any questions  call the parking division at 708-579-2333, and select option number one on the voice menu.

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