Fine for backing in car raises eyebrows

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SARASOTA, Fla.  - You may not realize it, but backing your car into a parking spot is illegal in certain parts of Sarasota, including the Palm Avenue parking garage. That's where $35 tickets are being issued on a daily basis to those who don't follow the rules.

That fine is raising a few eyebrows. Recently, local photographer Cliff Roles received a ticket in the garage for backing into a space. He says it's the only way he has ever parked his car.

"My peeve in the whole thing was basically the amount of money that was being asked of me," said Roles. "I hope the person that determined this amount of money might reconsider and think about a friendly warning, or reduce the amount of money he is going to take from people breaking this absolutely ridiculous ordinance."

The garage does have signs indicating that backing in is prohibited. Roles admits he did not see the signs.

Mark Lyons, the city's Parking Manager says the ordinance was created for driver's own safety, but to also help parking enforcement attendants.  "When you are trying to look at sporadic views of license plates with cars turned around, it would take an extremely long time to get the job done effectively," said Lyons.

We asked Lyons is he thought the $35 ticket was too much.  "Unfortunately, it's not a question of being fair or not from my standpoint. Our job is to enforce it and we do those functions. Our staff goes out everyday to do the best they can for the city and make sure those things are handled properly," said Lyons.

Other areas the rule applies to includes Marina Jack and Island Park.