Barbara Lawlor, Nederland. In the past month, there have been 63 non-parking traffic summons issued. Nederland Police Officers are making an effort to make sure drivers slow down in town, on side streets and especially in school zones, when there is a long line of impatient ski traffic heading up or down the hill, when students are arriving for the day or leaving in the afternoon.
Officers have issued 20 City Ordinance Violation tickets; 11 traffic parking tickets; eight Miscellaneous tickets and 1 City Ordinance Traffic ticket.
The large number of traffic tickets issued in the past month was reflected in the large number of people filling the Nederland Municipal Court last Friday morning. The room packed with people trying to get Judge Gloss to be lenient or trying to come up a with a good reason for not renewing their registration on time, or why they felt they had a right to park in a no parking zone.
One of the defendants was issued a summons for not registering a trailer that has been parked in a yard, which was used historically to haul hay. The last time the trailer was registered was in 2001. According to Nederland’s Municipal Code, the fine for expired registration is $60 per month. Judge Gloss did not impose the maximum amount, which would have been a ridiculous fee, but it did cost the man $780.
Nederland Prosecutor Donna Schneider said that any vehicle which is being driven, even though it’s only once a year, has to be up to date on registration or pay the fine. If the vehicle is not drivable it can’t be on the street, in the driveway or breaking any municipal codes.
A dog bite summons could bring a $450 fine, but since the dog’s owner took care of the victim’s bills, he suspended $300 of the fine, due to the owner’s good intentions.
One defendant received a parking ticket when he pulled into a no parking slot across from the Mountain People’s Co-op, thinking he could just run into the shop, but apparently he didn’t run fast enough and found the ticket when he reached the car. It cost him $90.
Another registration issue was solved with a $280 fine when a person who came to Colorado for a job was driving a vehicle with expired California plates. One cannot drive without current registration from somewhere.
A driver who has recently spent a few months in Africa couldn’t let thousands of miles stop him from renewing his registration. His welcome back home present was a $275 fine, with $55 suspended.
There were many cases in which Judge Gloss chose to suspend part of the fine, a discretionary decision, which usually depends on the officer’s personal notes on the ticket. It is the difference between a bad attitude and a respectful attitude.
A forgotten court date resulted in a $320 fine. The court doesn’t forget.
Usually a No Proof of Insurance ticket is handled when the defendant brings in the proof, although he was not fined for not having insurance, he still has to show up and pay administrative fees.
All of those who show up for a court date are required to pay a $35 court fee on top of whatever fine the judge imposes.
A defendant who was with three other people when they caused a disturbance in a local business was fined $165, even though he was charged with the same offenses as the others.
A person who was ticketed for parking in a handicapped parking slot because he was sure it was a legal spot said he didn’t have the money to pay the whole fine and asked if he could pay $25 a month. He was told to get hold of the NPD if he couldn’t come up with the money. Parking in a handicapped zone carries a $215 fine.
A 4-point speeding ticket, more than 19 mph. is $165; a regular parking ticket is $75 and cannot be reduced. A Failure to Yield Right of Way is $155.
A woman who received a parking ticket said her truck broke down and she and her dad pushed it into a parking lot because someone said it was private parking so she wouldn’t get a ticket. She got a ticket.
Another woman explained that she had left her parking spot and was trying to keep up with the traffic flow when she got stopped. She had to pay $170.
Judge Gloss ended the morning’s court session advising people to look into their glove boxes every now and then to see if they have current registration and insurance paperwork; and to walk behind their vehicle, rub off the mountain mud and make sure their plates are up to date.