Park Illegally? Fine Just Doubled in Park Forest.

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- If you park illegally in Park Forest, you will find that the fine has doubled. If you’ve never parked illegally in Park Forest or are careful about where you park, you have nothing to worry about. After nearly 30 years, the $25 parking ticket rate in Park Forest is going up to $50.

The move comes after an analysis conducted by Park Forest Police found the village at the bottom of a list that compared fines levied by 12 area municipalities. Eight of the 12 towns studied had fines higher than Park Forest. Three other communities in the study had the same rate as Park Forest. The average fine accessed for a parking ticket among the 12 communities studied was $50.

The proposed increase to a new rate of $50 was unanimously approved at the January 22 board meeting.

In a memo to the Village Board, Police Chief Christopher Mannino reported on a comparison of minimum parking fines of regional communities which showed the following:

MunicipalityParking
Matteson$75
Richton Park$50
Olympia Fields$50
Crete$50
Monee$75
Flossmoor$50
Glenwood$40
Lansing$100
Homewood$35
Steger$25
South Chicago Heights$25
Chicago Heights$25

In the memo, Chief Mannino explained the philosophy behind the fines and the reason for the increase, “The purpose of fine amounts for violations of vehicular standing and parking regulations and vehicle compliance regulations is to provide incentive for voluntary compliance and to serve as a deterrent to violating those regulations. Fines should be high enough to serve as a deterrent, but not so high as to cause a financial impact out of proportion with the seriousness of the violation.”

“The ability of current fines for vehicular standing and parking regulation violations and vehicle compliance violations has been eroded over the quarter of a century that the current fines have been in place,” the chief continued. “A check of the US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics CPI Inflation Calculator (https://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) reveals that $25.00 dollars in October of 1992 had the purchasing power of $44.58 in October of 2018 (the most recent data available at the time of writing).

“A recommended fine amount of $50.00 for violations of municipal code regulating vehicular standing and parking regulation violations and vehicle compliance violations is comparable to regional communities and comparable to the financial impact of a $25.00 fine when the municipal code was last amended reference this matter in 1992 and 1993. A recommended increase of $50.00 in each subsequent failure to pay the fine amount before the subsequent hearing date is also recommended, capped by statute at $250.00,” Chief Mannino said in the memo.

“A late fee of $50 will be added to ticket amounts for failure to pay before the hearing date,” the village added in a website statement.

Revenue brought in by parking tickets contributes to the village’s general fund, the statement said.