Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beware Zealous Police Ticketing in Pa'ia



Maybe the police ticketing has eased up in Paia, but a few weeks ago, I was informed by a friend that the police were ticketing even jay walkers and cars that were parked so that their tire crossed the white line.
Is this your car? Try to stay within the white lines.
Jaywalkers are a fundamental part of the Paia scene, so it's a surprise to hear police targeted them. According to my friend (yes, this is secondhand info, via the old-fashioned "coconut wireless" as we say here), some cops approached a large group of jaywalkers and "herded" them in such a way that they could easily ticket each person. At least one person got away by pretending to not understand English and/or to be be unable to see well enough to sign the ticket. The fine was some outrageous amount, like over $100 for jaywalking. 

Similarly, my friend related that she knew people whose cars had received tickets just for being past the white line in a parking space, or for being too far from the curb.  One woman apparently fought the charge by photographing how far she was from the edge of the sidewalk, and brought her evidence and case to the courthouse, and won since she was within 12" of the curb. 

How much of this is true and how much is exaggerated? Hard to know since I wasn't there, but I've been very careful parking in Paia. At the last Fourth Friday town party in Paia, I heard that the police issued several tickets for manini (small or petty) violations. The police ticketing may even be related to the cancellation of Paia's Fourth Friday, which will restart in Kihei in December.  

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