[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Wallingford 2-14-1995 by Ord. No. 415. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Authority to adopt rules, regulations and restrictions. The Chief of Police as traffic authority (traffic authority) is hereby authorized and empowered to adopt such rules, regulations and restrictions relative to the routing of traffic and the parking of vehicles not inconsistent with the statutes of the State of Connecticut or this section, which in its judgment may be deemed necessary for the proper regulation and control of vehicular traffic upon the highways and on town owned or operated property within the town and for the safety and convenience of the public.
Erection and maintenance of signs. The traffic authority is further empowered to erect and maintain signs in each highway and on town owned or operated property for the purposes of traffic and parking regulations, designating the time or terms of such regulations or restrictions on any highway or town owned or operated property coming under the jurisdiction of the town and the traffic authority.
Authority to remove vehicles. The traffic authority is further authorized and empowered to cause the removal from any highway or town owned or operated property coming under the jurisdiction of the town or from state highways, except limited access highways, within the territorial limits of the town, any abandoned or unregistered motor vehicles and motor vehicles which are a menace to traffic or public health or safety or improperly on said property.
Definitions. For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein:
- CHIEF OF POLICE
- The Chief of Police or his appointed designee.
- Any person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind.
- A person engaged in the business or offering vehicle towing services with the type and number of vehicles specified in the regulations adopted hereunder, and duly licensed by the State of Connecticut, and whose application has been approved pursuant to this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted hereunder.
- The Town of Wallingford Police Department.
Word usage. When not inconsistent within the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number and words in the singular number include the plural number. The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
There shall be a fifteen-dollar penalty for the following violations:
Entrance to a public building.
Twenty-five feet of corner.
Twenty-five feet of stop sign.
Vehicle on sidewalk.
No standing zone.
Bus stops and taxi stands.
Trailers parked on streets over 72 hours.
Declaration of special parking restrictions. Whenever the Chief of Police or his designee finds that either an emergency or special events make it necessary that parking within the paved portion of the highway or adjacent thereto be curtailed or the highway closed to all traffic, he may declare an order to either restrict parking or close the highway. While the order is in effect, no person shall traverse, travel, park or allow to remain parked or standing any motor vehicle on or adjacent to any portion of any highway to which it applies.
Notice of highway closure. Orders pertaining to highway closures for special events shall be publicly announced by publishing notice thereof in a newspaper having general circulation within the town not less than 24 hours prior to the effective date of the restriction, or provide notice of such restriction to be aired on public access cable television and/or local radio station not less than 24 hours prior to the effective date of the restriction. Such notice shall state the dates of the restriction, time (if so limited) and highways covered by the restriction. If it is impractical to publish notice of a special event, notice of the restriction may be made in accordance with Subsection A of this section. In case of an emergency, no such order is required.
Signs. On each street designated by the Police Chief or his designee as hereinbefore provided, signs shall be posted at reasonable intervals. Signs posted in accordance with this section shall be plainly visible and readable to persons traveling on the street or highway. No sign shall be required in the event of an emergency.
The Chief of Police is authorized to suspend the parking regulations and prohibit parking temporarily in any area where it is necessary in order to facilitate the removal of snow or sleet or to prevent the obstruction or safe flow of traffic in time of heavy snowfall or other severe weather. He shall give notice of such temporary prohibition and its rescission by radio and/or local television. In the event of snowfall of five inches or more, parking on public streets shall be temporarily prohibited until such time as the prohibition is rescinded by radio and/or local television.
Whenever any vehicle is found parked in violation of this chapter or of any traffic rule or regulation which relates to parking, any police officer finding such vehicle shall take its registration number, and may take any other information displayed on the vehicle which may identify its user, and shall conspicuously affix to such vehicle notice, in writing, on a form provided by the Chief of Police, to the owner or operator thereof, stating that such vehicle has been parked unlawfully, and shall state the penalty for such violation. Said notice shall state which provision of the town ordinances or rule and/or regulation of the town traffic authority has been violated and shall moreover contain the following declaration:
Each such owner or operator may, within 15 days of the time of such notice being attached to such vehicle, pay in person or remit by mail in the form of a check or money order payable to the Town of Wallingford and delivered or mailed to the Wallingford Police Department as specified on the ticket, as a penalty for and full satisfaction of such violations, not to include tow and storage fees, the sum specified on such notice, in accordance with the penalties set forth in this chapter. Payment in person shall be made during normal business hours at the Records Department of the Wallingford Police Department.
The failure of such owner or operator to make payment to the Town of Wallingford at the Police Department or to timely appeal the violation within 15 days of the time when such notice is attached to the vehicle shall render him liable to a penalty equal to twice the amount of the initial penalty provided. The failure of such owner or operator to make such payment to the Town of Wallingford at the Police Department within 30 days of the time when such notice is attached to the vehicle shall render the owner or operator liable to a penalty equal to three times the amount of the initial penalty provided.
Wherever any vehicle shall be found parked in violation of this chapter, rule or regulation, such vehicle may be removed under the direction of a member of the Police Department by means of towing the vehicle to a towing garage. Such removal shall be at the risk and expense of the owner.
Whenever any vehicle is found parked in violation of any municipal traffic ordinance, rule or regulation, and where there are three or more previously issued municipal parking citations outstanding upon said vehicle, then a member of the Police Department may place or direct a person or persons so authorized by the Chief of Police to place an immobilization device upon said vehicle or, in the alternative, the member of the Police Department may order a person or persons so authorized by the Chief of Police to remove said vehicle by means of towing, or otherwise, to a towing garage. Such removal or immobilization shall be at the risk and expense of the owner.
Once an immobilization device has been placed upon an unlawfully parked vehicle pursuant to this section, then said device may not be removed or otherwise tampered with by anyone who has not been authorized to do so by the Chief of Police. The penalty for unlawfully removing or otherwise tampering with said device shall be $100.
The owner of any vehicle impounded or immobilized under this section shall have the right to contest such impoundment or immobilization by application on a form prescribed by the traffic authority.
The owner of any vehicle impounded or otherwise rendered immobile by application of a mechanical device shall be duly informed as to which provisions of this chapter, the city ordinances and/or rules and regulations of the traffic authority have necessitated the impoundment and/or the immobilization of said vehicle.
Before the owner of any impounded or immobilized vehicle shall be permitted to remove the impounded vehicle from such impound, such person shall provide evidence of his identity and ownership, shall sign a receipt for such vehicle and shall pay the cost of towing and storage for each day or portion of a day that such vehicle is stored by the tower in excess of the first 24 hours.
The Chief of Police shall not authorize and/or direct the removal of an immobilization device from any vehicle or the release of any vehicle placed within a pound pursuant to this section until such time as the owner or person in charge of said vehicle shall have supplied the Chief of Police with evidence of his identify and ownership; and satisfied all outstanding municipal parking citations against the subject vehicle to the satisfaction of the Chief of Police.
It shall be the duty of the Chief of Police, or such other police officer as he shall designate, to keep a record of the names of the owners of all vehicles impounded and/or immobilized, the numbers of their state license plates, the place where each vehicle was impounded or immobilized, the nature and circumstances of each violation and the disposition of each case.
Any person whose vehicle is immobilized or impounded because of the existence of four or more outstanding citations may request an immediate hearing on the validity of the charges on which the immobilization or impoundment was based. A hearing shall be convened thereafter by one of the parking violation hearing officers as soon as practicable. The procedure for the hearing shall be informal as to the rules of evidence, but testimony shall be taken under oath or affirmation. In considering the charges, the hearing officer may consider all relevant facts and circumstances and may require the personal appearance of the person requesting the hearing and the issuing officer. Should the hearing officer find in favor of the person charged, he shall so certify to the town, and the record of charge or charges shall be removed from the files of the town and the vehicle released to the owner. Should the hearing officer find the issuance of the charge or charges proper, he shall so certify to the town, and no further appeal for a hearing shall be considered. The hearing officer shall determine the amount due the town for the cost of immobilization or impoundment and the amount due for citations outstanding. The owner may regain possession by paying the amount found due by the hearing officer and establishing his identity and right to possession and upon signing a proper receipt for the vehicle. If not paid on the same day, the owner shall also pay all charges due for storage of the vehicle.
The Chief of Police or his designee may void a parking ticket in the following circumstances:
Ticket is on its face improper in that it is incomplete or contains obvious errors;
Tickets issued to the blind, handicapped or veterans, pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes Section 14-253a, Section 14-254 and Section 14-290, respectively.
Tickets issued to official police, fire and any vehicles exempt by statutes (marked or unmarked).
In any hearing charging a violation of any law or regulation governing the standing or parking of a vehicle, proof that the particular vehicle described in the complaint was parked in violation of any law or regulation described in § 216-3, together with proof that the defendant named in the complaint was at the time of such parking the registered owner of such vehicle, shall constitute in evidence a prima facie presumption that the registered owner of such vehicle was the person who parked or placed the vehicle at the point where, and for the time during which, such violation occurred. If the vehicle is unregistered, it is presumed that the last registered owner is the present owner of said vehicle.
Any person or owner of a vehicle cited for a violation of this chapter, rule or regulation of the town pertaining to parking may request, in writing, on a form prescribed by the Chief of Police, a formal hearing before a parking violations hearing officer(s) within 15 days of issuance of a parking violation citation.
The Mayor shall appoint parking violation hearing officer(s) other than policemen, persons working in the Police Department or persons authorized to issue tickets. Such officer(s) shall serve for a term of two years from the effective date of appointment.
The hearing officer(s) shall be empowered to hear appeals from the issuance of parking violation citations and take such other actions in processing parking violations as authorized by the state statutes and town ordinances and regulations.
In scheduling formal appeal hearings, the appellant shall be notified by mail of the place and time of the hearing. Such notice shall be provided at least 15 days, but not more than 30 days, prior to the scheduled hearing date.
The procedure for the hearing shall be informal as to the rules of evidence, but testimony shall be taken under oath or affirmation.
The provisions of this section shall be construed in accordance with the provisions of applicable state statutes and town ordinances.
In considering an appeal, the hearing officer(s) may consider all relevant facts and circumstances and may require personal appearance of the appellant and issuing officer.
Should the hearing officer(s) find in favor of the appellant, he shall so certify to the town, and the record of the citation shall be removed from the files of the town.
Should the hearing officer(s) find the issuance of the creation proper, he shall so certify to the town and inform the appellant of the applicable fine.
If such violation is not paid on the date of the judgment of the hearing officer(s), the town shall send by first-class mail a notice of the penalty assessment to the person found liable and shall file, not less than 30 days nor more than 12 months after such mailing, a certified copy of the notice of penalty assessment with the Clerk of the Superior Court for the geographical area in which the town is located, together with an entry fee as required by statute. The certified copy of the notice of penalty assessment shall constitute a record of assessment. Within such twelve-month period, assessments against the same person may be accrued and filed as one record of assessment. The Clerk shall enter judgment in the amount of such record of assessment and court costs against such person in favor of the town. Notwithstanding any other provision of the general statutes, the hearing officer's assessment, when so entered as a judgment, shall have the effect of a civil money judgment, and a levy of execution on such judgment may issue without further notice to such person.
A person for whom an assessment has been entered pursuant to this section is entitled to judicial review by way of appeal. An appeal may be instituted as provided by statute within 30 days of the mailing of notice of such assessment. Nothing herein contained shall be construed as a limitation on the power of the Superior Court to impose a fine in accordance with the ordinances of the town for violations thereof.