Special Report: Avoiding a ticket on your windshield

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In 2015, The City of Lincoln issued more than 63,000 parking related tickets. 10/11 obtained the parking citation database from the city to find out, where were the most tickets written and for what.

It may be no surprise, the Haymarket checks in with the top spot.

Cars on 8th Street from Q to R Street got 452 tickets in 2015.

Parking manager Wayne Mixdorf said he's not surprised, “Obviously the arena, the increase in the number of restaurants for example, generating a lot more traffic, a lot more parking traffic than we've had before, so it just stands to reason that that would be where we'd be writing the citations.”

The data shows all but one of the top 10 locations where the most parking tickets were written, were either in the Haymarket or downtown Lincoln.

“A lot of students who don't want to pay to park on campus,” said Mixdorf.

Number three, with 198 tickets written in 2015, was Idylwild Drive and Starr Street, which is just south of UNL's East Campus.

That area has multiple no parking signs for varying times of the day and Mixdorf said there's another factor as well.

“So that would be what we'd call an interference ticket, the ordinance in Lincoln, is that you have to be 25 feet away from the intersection, so if it's not clearly signed, individuals often times aren't aware that that's the distance they need to maintain.”

When it comes to the time of day when you're most likely to get a ticket, the 11:00am hour had the most tickets written with more than 9,800.

From 10:00am to 3:00pm, cars in Lincoln got more than 44,000 tickets, which makes up nearly 70% of the tickets written in 2015.

October and September is when the most tickets were written. October checked in with 6,313, while September had 5,666. Interestingly enough, September had the most voided tickets as well.

The most common ticket amount is $10 for an expired meter, 47,060 people got that ticket in 2015. But second is drastically higher and more than 2,700 cars found this ticket waiting for them.

“The only $100 citation is the handicapped violation citation.”

Mixdorf says you have seven days to pay your ticket before the fine amount goes up. After seven days, you'll pay an additional $15.

The data shows most people take care those tickets relatively soon, however more than 10,000 tickets written in 2015 still aren't paid and we're nearly six months into 2016.

While Mixdorf admits the number of unpaid tickets is higher than he'd like, he says it only represents about 1/6th of all the tickets written in 2015.

“Many of them will be paid, people sometimes don't realize they have them, until they come in to pay another citation that they received, they go 'Oh my goodness I have a citation from last June,' and they'll pay that.”

He also pointed out the Lincoln Police Department has the power to tow your vehicle after one parking ticket that's unpaid for a specified period of time.

Mixdorf said when it comes to Parking Services, “We're not that aggressive, we wait until you have several more than that that are unpaid, that's one of the risks people run.”

But he encourages people take care of unpaid tickets as soon as possible.

Aside from making sure your meter is plugged after you park your car, what's the best way to avoid getting a ticket?

Mixdorf says, “If there is a parking garage close by get over that your fear of parking garages, because the first hour is free. That second thing is download the Passport Parking App. It's the most convenient thing you can do. You can actually go to your destination, and sit down and enter your information when you have that convenient moment.”

Mixdorf has one more piece of advice, don't be afraid to call.

“If you find that you just didn't understand the parking regulation or restriction at that time one of our common misconceptions is about loading zones. If you have questions about that call us. We'll walk you through it, we'll explain it to you and we'll tell you where you can park.

He said if a meter is malfunctioning or there's a coin jam, Parking Services wants to know. If they know there's an issue with a meter, and a ticket is written, you're not unfairly penalized.

There's also a process to challenge a ticket. It's a civil process versus a criminal proceeding. To see how to challenge a ticket, click on the link to the right.