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Parking violators can swap ‘Toys for Tickets’ in Las Vegas

Teddy bears and toy trains could take the place of parking tickets during the holiday season in the city of Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas City Council on Wednesday approved a pilot program that will allow people who receive certain types of parking tickets between Nov. 15 and 30 to donate a toy of equal or greater value as payment for the fines.

Toys will be accepted through Dec. 15 as part of the “Toys for Tickets” program and will be donated to the Safe Nest organization, a local domestic violence shelter.

Ticket recipients can bring a nonviolent, unwrapped toy to the city’s Parking Services department across Main Street from City Hall. They must provide both their parking ticket and receipt for the toy.

There are more than a dozen public safety and handicapped-related parking violations that are excluded from the program.

The Safe Nest shelter houses 81 women and children. At any given time, 20 to 30 of the people there are children, said Hannah Brook, director of community and donor relations for Safe Nest.

Inserts letting people know about the program will be included with tickets between now and the end of the month, city Parking Manager Brandy Stanley said.

Double parking, blocking or facing traffic, red curb and fire lane/hydrant violations also are among excluded parking offenses.

Similar programs have been offered in other cities. The City Council approved the program’s framework earlier this year, and the council needs to set the specific periods when donations in lieu of tickets are accepted.

At that time, Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian and Mayor Carolyn Goodman voted against it, saying it’s worthwhile but too complicated, and that the city depends on that revenue. But both voted in favor Wednesday of the temporary program donating toys to Safe Nest.

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Find @JamieMunksRJ on Twitter.

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