FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Police and the Fairfield Parking Authority are taking new measures to force people with large outstanding parking fees at the Fairfield's train stations to pay up.
A new policy will make it illegal to park in either the Fairfield Center or Southport train station lot with more than $250 in delinquent day-parking fees - which would be more than 40 days’ worth of unpaid parking.
Cars in the lots over the threshold will face a higher, $35-per-day penalty.
And because the new charge would be an official violation, drivers who don’t pay would be subject to the same regulations as with any other parking ticket. Police could have a violating car booted or impounded to force payment. The car would also be flagged in the Department of Motor Vehicles’ database to stall its registration renewal.
“We have many more mechanisms than the Parking Authority has, through state statutes and through the DMV,” Deputy Police Chief Chris Lyddy said Wednesday. “We have nearly a 100 percent recovery rate on our violations.”
The new penalties are possible because of the Parking Authority’s switch to an electronic ticketing system last December. Now, Special Police Officers issuing day passes know instantly if a car has outstanding parking fees and would be able to write violations for delinquents at the scene.
Since the electronic system started, the Parking Authority says it has found at least two dozen cars with more than $250 in back day-parking fees. In one case, an Easton woman was found to owe more than $9,000 in delinquent charges, Lyddy said. That case is currently being pursued in court by the town attorney.
“Letters have been going out notifying them that they do owe tickets,” said Parking Authority director Cindy Placko. “This is something we can do with the new system that wasn’t available with the old system, because it was so antiquated.”
The Police Commission approved the policy change by a unanimous vote Wednesday night. The new rules go into effect immediately. The program does not apply to the Fairfield Metro train station, which is not managed by the Fairfield Parking Authority.