by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Imagine this: the Philadelphia Parking Authority cutting you some slack!

That could soon be reality, as City Council today gave final passage to a measure which adds a grace period before penalties are tacked onto parking ticket fines.

The grace period for parking ticket penalties was the brainchild of Councilman Bill Greenlee, though he credits the Parking Authority for embracing the idea:

“They thought it was a very customer friendly thing, and it really doesn’t impact the revenue stream that much.”

Currently, if a driver doesn’t pay a parking ticket promptly, the Parking Authority sends a letter which includes a late payment penalty.

The problem is, that may be the first time the driver learns of the ticket.

“Oftentimes the ticket that is originally put on the vehicle is not there when the person comes to move the car,” Greenlee says.

So, under his plan, the letter would remind the driver to pay, but the penalty wouldn’t be tacked on until ten days later.

The original fine still applies, and could be immediately appealed.

With Council’s unanimous approval, the measure now goes to Mayor Nutter, whose signature is expected.  The bill goes into effect 90 days after the mayor signs it.

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