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Ticketing the ticketers

Police in Huntington, W.Va., have been pulling over parking attendants for driving miniature trucks that weren't allowed on city roads while they handed out parking tickets.
/ Source: The Associated Press

It was a sight that would make any flagrant parking meter flouter smile.

Police were pulling over parking meter attendants to warn them that their $9,600 miniature Mitsubishi and Subaru were not street legal and did not have proper tags.

The state Division of Motor Vehicles told the Huntington Municipal Parking Board last week that the two golf-cart-like trucks it bought were manufactured for off-road use only. They also don’t qualify as low-speed vehicles and can’t be registered, according to Glenn Pauley, DMV director of vehicle services.

The trucks sit at the city garage while the Huntington Municipal Parking Board decides what to do with them.

The board thought the two gas-powered vehicles would be more cost-effective than the electric carts attendants used because they get about 50 miles per gallon and don’t have to be taken off the streets at least two hours a day to be recharged, said Johnette Nelson, the parking board executive director.

They also don’t require a new $1,200 battery every 18 months or so.

“Our profit margin increased about $5,000 during the month that we used the trucks,” she said. “That’s not including the additional revenue that the city received.”

The parking board keeps $3 from every $5 parking ticket; the city gets the remaining $2.