Cops to issue more parking citations |

Cops to issue more parking citations

Patrick Parkinson, Of the Record staff

The Summit County Council has asked deputies to crack down on those who illegally park their cars in handicapped spaces.

The new set of parking regulations that councilpersons approved Nov. 18 impose a $100 fine on those who block a handicap access with their car or illegally park in a space reserved for a disabled motorist.

A spokesman for the Summit County Sheriff’s Office said the new guidelines will better equip deputies to issue parking citations.

"Parking citations will initially be treated as civil rather than criminal violations," according to Summit County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Andrew Leatham.

The Summit County Community Development Department will collect the fines and those challenging a citation will appeal to the county’s administrative law judge.

The Sheriff’s Office has also launched enforcement efforts in response to drivers who park illegally on streets and block snowplows in the winter.

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Deputies said they will begin ticketing motorists Dec. 1 and officers expect to issue warnings instead of citations for the first few weeks of the new enforcement efforts, Leatham said.

"Deputies will proactively patrol neighborhoods and address parking problems as they are encountered," Leatham said.

Street parking that blocks snowplows in the winter is prohibited, he said.

Summit County Public Works officials will be notifying deputies when cars are parked illegally, Leatham said.

The new ordinance also imposes a $50 fine on drivers whose parked cars block emergency or county vehicles.

Officials have heard many complaints about drivers who park their cars illegally in Summit County, Summit County Councilwoman Sally Elliott said.

"We have strengthened our ordinances," Elliott said about the new rules.