Sticker scofflaws: watch out for traffic stops

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By Jean Lotus

Editor

If recent history is any indication, Forest Parkers who neglected to purchase vehicle stickers by the April 1 deadline may be tied up at police checkpoints sometime in the next two weeks. For the past two years, Forest Park police have set up traffic checkpoints searching for vehicles without local tags, around April 10.

"The police department will conduct periodic checks in residential areas and near schools at some point during the next month or two," said Deputy Police Chief Thomas Aftanas.

Forest Park car owners were till trickling into Village Hall in late March to buy last-minute vehicle stickers. Some have to pay outstanding tickets, some already got a citation for not having the village tag while parking overnight.  

The village acquired a list in January 2013 of every registered vehicle in Forest Park from the Illinois Secretary of State's Office. In the past, police have used the list to cross-check all vehicles registered to Forest Park residents and have sent officers to write tickets overnight in April.

Last year 3,539 tickets were issued for 'No Current Village Tag,' Aftanas said. The village generated $36,965 in revenue in 2013 from tickets issued to vehicle-sticker scofflaws. The sticker price, $25, is cheaper than the ticket, which is $30, said Forest Park Police Chief James Ryan last year.

Village Executive Secretary Sally Cody said Forest Parkers had purchased around 7,300 stickers as of April 4.

"I would prefer if residents purchased the sticker," Aftanas said. "It would definitely reduce the complaints we receive from those that comply every year."

Even if your car is registered in another municipality, Forest Park police can still issue a ticket if it's parked overnight locally without a village tag.

"The local ordinance says if a vehicle is regularly housed in Forest Park, they have to buy a village vehicle sticker," said Village Administrator Tim Gillian last year, "even if a vehicle is registered somewhere else."

 

Contact:
Email: jlotus@forestparkreview.com Twitter: @FP_Review

Reader Comments

18 Comments - Add Your Comment

Comment Policy

jerry from forest park  

Posted: April 7th, 2014 3:11 PM

Observer, an interesting read, don't think it will work unless they can keep collecting the income taxes until all of the debt is collected.

Justine S. from Oak Park  

Posted: April 4th, 2014 9:52 AM

Please consider the flip side of the coin. Not everything is so black and white. My neighbor's whole family has vehicles registerd to Wisconsin (their summer home) and they don' t buy vehicle stickers and they have four cars! I called OP to report them because it's not fair that I have to get one but they don't just cuz they have WI plates! This is their home and they are here all of the time. They are just trying to cheat. I beleive what's good for the goose...

Observer  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 11:39 AM

I found this link: scroll down to Richard C. This method is the true equalizer..strong incentive to pay those parking tickets and purchase those stickers ;) They will get the money! http://theexpiredmeter.com/2012/02/city-adding-new-tool-to-collect-unpaid-parking-tickets-red-light-camera-tickets/

Observer  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 11:17 AM

I would prefer the patrol officers not act as tax collectors, they have enough on the plate. FP has a crew that strictly handles parking & sticker violations. They have the list of registered owners, they can track them down without the need of pulling patrol officers off regular duty to conduct checkpoints? Not sure, I have heard FP is on board like Chicago and can claim a portion of your state tax refund for unpaid tickets & municipal fines. I don't like the vague language re, non-residents

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 10:40 AM

euphemism is my take on the situation. who gets ticketed for non-sticker violations has a loooong, anecdotal history in forest park. you can look it up :) (and c'mon, anecdotes are the preferred form of evidence.at village hall) Gillian brought the issue up for 2014 so it's assumed it will be enforced - but the language is so vague the enforcement will necessarily be arbitrary. maybe the lawyers should take a look/see and/or mr. gillian can offer clear specifics.

look it up  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 9:11 AM

@ sharon -- honestly not meant as a euphemism. It seems like left over language, reasonable at the time, from before FPPD could conveniently look up registration info from the police car.

Bill Dwyer   

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 8:29 AM

More amateur hour. 'regular or frequent.' Really? The definition being what? Five times a month. 15 times? Just so it makes some sense in a court of law if its ever adjudicated. Lord, can we finally bring in some professionals to run this village? This may stand up with the rent a judge the village uses for it in house court, but an actual judge would laugh it out of court.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 8:25 AM

thanks for the work, look it up. so if a vehicle is registered and displays the appropriate sticker it should not be ticketed. must admit that any other interpretation is crazy making for citizens and vulnerable to abuse. "prima facie evidence sounds like a convenience for the village" is today's euphemism winner..

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 8:15 AM

It's evidence assumed to be the case "unless otherwise refuted." It's not proof. It's a an assumption of proof. What an amateur hour.

look it up from the movie born yesterday  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 5:40 AM

One more point. I am not a lawyer. However basic reading (with a little help from wikipedia) indicates that contrary to what our VA is quoted as saying, the ord does not mean what he said. In Tim's defense, wikipedia notes that "prima facie" is often misunderstood. However, assuming I'm understanding the ord lang correctly, [big assumption?] it's not good, to put it mildly, that VA can't accurately explain sticker ord when asked by FPR for story around sticker deadline.

look it up from the movie born yesterday  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 5:19 AM

For the record, I paraphrased the quote below to fit the character limit by making substitutions like "FP" for "the village." Read up on what exactly prima facie evidence means. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prima_facie. Note that prima facie is often confused with res ipsa loquitur. The point is that the pf evidence sounds like a convenience for the village. But since they can look up the IL registration address they shouldn't be using the "regularly housed, etc." evidence in the first place.

look it up from the movie born yesterday  

Posted: April 2nd, 2014 5:04 AM

FP ordinances http://goo.gl/cIjf2U sticker ordinance. http://goo.gl/AGI98I "... every vehicle .. issued a current license by...Il Sec State ...registered to addr in FP shall also have the village license." Then "reg housing or freq parking of vehicle in bldg or parking area in FP shall be deemed prima facie evidence of ownership ... requir[ing] ... [FP] license." Parking enforcement can check IL reg info. Why use prima facie evidence at all? If IL reg is other muni, FP ord requires no FP reg.

Corrado from Forest Park  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 10:10 PM

I would rather see the police enforce traffic laws. I live on a corner and everyone from Maywood, River Forest, and Oak Park blow through the stop sign(s) and crosswalk(s) at will. Can they raise that 36K passing out traffic tickets to people from outside rather than pounding the residents with tickets?

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 7:36 PM

i don't study the lower right hand corner of car windows but i cannot recall seeing a car w/stickers in two or more villages for the same year. also, how in the world does this village ord get enforced properly? how in the world will folks who don't live here know they should buy a sticker to hang out here? what is the point of this ord? who are we trying to 'catch?'

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 5:00 PM

It doesn't matter what a village ordinance states if it doesn't square with state law. Forest Park's stance here won't stand up to a legal challenge. Of course, it's unlikely there'll be a legal challenge over a $25 vehicle sticker. So it doubtful the village's flawed view will get challenged in that manner.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 2:55 PM

the issue of multiple village stickers came up a couple of years ago and it was stated by a commenter that IL does not allow multiple stickers - you purchase the sticker in the town the vehicle is registered in not where you work or shop. anyone know the law?

Masts  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 1:46 PM

I apologize for my language but I think it isn't fair that non residents who are coming to buy stuff from madison street, spend their money to eat and drink there too. Now they have to buy a parking pass?

Curious  

Posted: April 1st, 2014 12:36 PM

"Regularly housed"...what exactly does that legally mean? A person who commutes 5 days a week and parks for 12 hours every day in Forest Park; would that be 'regularly housed'? So according to Tim do they have to buy a tag? Those that commute and park may park here longer than folks that actually reside here. Think about it.

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