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Hundreds receive parking tickets in Hazleton following winter storm

It's a recurring annoyance in the City of Hazleton. Hundreds woke up to parking tickets on their windshields following a weekend winter storm.

HAZLETON, Pa. — Some side streets in the City of Hazleton are still covered with a thin layer of snow after several inches fell over the weekend. The plows piled snow high and cleared parking areas where they could, but Hazleton Parking Enforcement was busy. 

Mayor Jeff Cusat said 300 to 400 vehicles were ticketed for failing to move out of areas where snow ban signs are posted. 

About 1,000 vehicles have been ticketed for the same offense this winter, a combined total of $80,000 in fines.

Erving Ruiz says several people on his block were in violation.

"Yesterday they told me to move the car because they were gonna clean the street, and the guy gives a ticket to everybody," Ruiz said.

If you want to avoid those $80 tickets, it's all about interpreting the street signs. 

Blue signs ban snow parking in an odd season, a period stretching from November 2021 until the end of March 2022. 

Parking is prohibited while there's a snowstorm in progress, allowing crews to clear the streets. 

The same applies in an even season. Red signs mark the snow ban areas that will be active from November 2022 until March 2023. 

Keep your cars out of the way if you don't want to pay that fine. The mayor said some cars got a ticket for parking too far away from the curb. Others were ticketed when they moved out of snow ban areas but returned before the roads could be cleared.

"I moved my car, and they didn't give me a ticket, but the other people, they got a ticket," Ruiz said. "They moved their car, and the snow is still there."

Ruiz says the tickets are a necessary evil.

"Well, hey. We have to follow the regulation, you know," he said.

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