Kind or Crime?

In Traverse City, Michigan, feeding another person’s meter is both a common act of kindness and a crime that can get you a misdemeanor charge and a $100 fine. Traverse City is not alone. It is, in fact, illegal in most US cities.

In a recent report that appears on UpNorthLive.com, Traverse City Parking Administrator Dave Malewitz insists the local ordinance helps prevent people from abusing city meter time limits and promotes traffic turn-over.

“It’s a very nice citizen gesture to help out other citizens and giving them extra time, but we go back to the ordinance…where the person parking there is legally responsible and they paid for the time…if that person by chance gets a ticket, it is their responsibility not another person putting money in,” said Malewitz.

Reacting to the report, reader Kristen Hains responded: “How exactly is this enforced/policed? If you’re caught putting money in any meter, do you have to produce your driver’s license and proof of registration to prove that you are feeding your own meter? Does this happen that often that this is an issue that has to be addressed? I find that kind of hard to believe.”

Well, call me a rebel, but when I see a car just about to have its windshield wiper decorated with a $60 parking ticket and I have a quarter in my pocket, it goes in the meter. This is one law I always feel great breaking.

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