Las Vegas Now Allows Parking Tickets to be Paid with School Supplies

The program accepts new school supplies equaling or greater than the value of the fine for non-public safety violations.

Jul 2, 2019

Getting a parking ticket when your meter runs out or you forgot to move your car is a real nuisance. But the city of Las Vegas has taken the sting out of paying parking fines by accepting an alternative currency in lieu of cash for the offenses.

The city council unanimously approved a month-long plan that allows fines to be paid with donated school supplies according to the council. The donations must be made within 30 days of the infraction and can only be for non-public safety violations.

The program is up and running until July 19, 2019, and accepts new unwrapped school supplies (with receipts) that are equal to or greater than the fine. Some of the items that are accepted are disinfectant wipes, paper, pencils, pens, erasers, paper, rulers, scissors, and pencil sharpeners.

The supplies that are collected will be donated to Teacher's Exchange, a 501(c)3 nonprofit Nevada corporation that supports public education. The organization works in collaboration with principals, teachers, community organizations, and businesses to develop and implement school strategies, programs, distributes grants or scholarships, and helps to improve public schools.

This is not the first time that Las Vegas has accepted charitable donations for payment of parking fines. The city council approved an ordinance in July 2016 that allowed this occasional program. In November 2016 to get in the holiday spirit, donated toys were accepted for payment.

Other cities have done similar programs. Lexington Kentucky started a Food for Fines program that excused $15 in fines for ten donated cans of food and brought in 6,200 cans of food in its first year. In 2016, Tallahassee Florida removed $1 off every parking fine for every piece of donated canned goods and Albany, New York exchanged late fees on tickets for donated food.

These types of programs are very successful, and people are a lot happier donating to a good cause than paying for parking tickets, especially if a long line at the supermarket caused your parking meter to run out.

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Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.