SANTA BARBARA, Calif - A shoving incident that injured a parking enforcement officer and sent a driver to jail, has police officials urging drivers to show more respect and patience.
The driver had expired registration by more than a year and tried to leave the scene where he was parked in order to avoid being towed.
Police say he made contact with the parking officer causing a minor injury before taking off. He was caught and arrested nearby. The vehicle was towed and impounded.
Sgt. Joshua Morton says the place to iron out a dispute is not on the streets. There is a special hearing board at the police department for disputed tickets. Some local drivers have made a case and won in the past, and tell NewsChannel 3 it does work in some instanced.
In many cases Morton says drivers have been given a break more than they know. That's usually when they have parked longer than the posted limit and the enforcement team has not come around again. In some cases vehicles have parked without a ticket well over the 75 or 90 minute limit and left prior to the next check of the area.
Overtime, missing license plates, out dated registration and parking zone violations are among the most common offenses.
The parking officers also enforce the street sweeping rules which are in play on different days at different times in different areas of the city.
Near Santa Barbara City College earlier this year when school started many students parked off campus without a neighborhood permit and found tickets on their windshields after they went to class.
Morton says if someone tries to escape an officer before a ticket is written the license is usually already written down and the ticket will be mailed. It can also result in on the spot police officers responding to detain the driver.
He says the parking enforcement team often also finds stolen cars or abandoned vehicles which create a nuisance for neighborhoods.
They patrol in parking lots as well as surface streets.
Morton says the officers often talk to residents about the rules, some localized issues and answer questions as they are making the rounds..