PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A city councilman wants to give recipients of parking tickets in Philadelphia a little more time to pay the fine before penalties kick in.

The Parking Authority slaps you with a $20 penalty if you don’t pay a ticket within 15 days. City Councilman Bill Greenlee says by the time the Authority mails out a reminder that you owe, the penalty has been added.

“There’s a penalty assessed already, and I just don’t think that’s fair.”

That’s particularly unfair, says Greenlee, if the ticket had been swiped or blown off the windshield, and the recipient knew nothing of the violation until that letter arrived.

“We have found many, many cases where people say they never got the original ticket on the car. Tickets just blowing off the windshield — or what I’ve seen is that many people take the ticket off another car and put it on theirs, so they don’t get a ticket. We hear that so many times — ‘I didn’t even know I have the ticket, now I have to pay the extra fine.’ It’s that kind of thing we’re trying to address.”

So Greenlee on Thursday will introduce a bill to delay the late penalty.

“The first written notice in the mail would give a grace period — and we can work out the timeframe — (so) that you would not have the penalty. You would just pay the fine. And then after a certain amount of time, the penalty would kick in.”

Greenlee says the length of the grace period would be subject to negotiations with city and Parking Authority officials. The bill will be debated in Committee.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060

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