Spokane woman baffled by $450 ticket for blocking handicap aisle

Back in October she made her weekly run to the Costco on North Division. When she came outside, she had a ticket on her car.

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A quick trip to the store turned sour for one Spokane County woman.
    
She got a $450 parking ticket. She was cited for blocking an aisle designated for handicapped people, but she said she had really no choice. Terry Paetow does not get many parking tickets and she has never gotten one this big.

Back in October she made her weekly run to the Costco on North Division. When she came outside, she had a ticket on her car. She was parked in a handicap spot but she has a permit. Paetow did not understand why she was ticketed.

“I kind of gulped and looked around at everybody else that had tickets," she said. 

Paetow's white Chevy parked over the line of the handicap walkway. Other cars parked the same way. She said she pulled forward so the back her car would not stick out into the aisle.

"I never knew anything about parking forward would get me in trouble," Paetow said.

Her ticket was for blocking the handicap aisle. The basic penalty for a disabled parking violation is $250. Blocking an access aisle is $200 on top of that.

"If you want to give a warning and $50 ticket okay, you know if you really want to make some income off of it fine. But my God $450 dollars,” she said. 

The municipal code says you can get a ticket for parking in, blocking or otherwise keeping handicapped people from using that area. An area that can be on the side of your car or, as Paetow, realized in front of it.

“I looked at all the other people that are just as ignorant quote about the law as I was that are going to be getting tickets that can't afford these tickets," she said. 

Paetow went to court and got her knocked down to $300. Her concern is really for people who can't afford fines that high, those who are handicap and could be on fixed incomes.

"That person gets that $450 ticket what do they do don't eat for the month, don't get their medication for the month what do they do,” said Paetow.

That is why Paetow hopes her story will be reminder to people to mind where and how they park.  

© 2017 KREM-TV


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