CHARLESTON, S.C. — One councilman wants his South Carolina city to stop writing parking tickets near churches on Sunday morning.

Charleston Councilman Keith Waring came to a city traffic committee meeting earlier this month with a handful of $45 tickets written for people worshipping at St. Patrick Church.

Waring told members had been going to the downtown Charleston church for 50 years and these were the first tickets he had seen written, The Post and Courier of Charleston reports

“Why now?” Waring said. “When people go to pray, they shouldn’t come out with a $45 ticket.”

Waring suggested city council should amend Charleston’s parking ordinance specifying that tickets shouldn’t be handed out near churches on Sunday mornings.

City Councilman Bill Moody said it might be easier just to remind parking officers of the city’s longtime request not to ticket worshippers on Sunday.

Charleston has a long standing practice of relaxed parking enforcement on Sundays, but still writes ticker for potentially dangerous violations, city spokesman Jack O’Toole said

Waring is already working to get the tickets revoked and the practice will now be reviewed by the city’s legal department.

“Those tickets, like others, are then eligible for review through the city’s standard adjudication process, which is already underway with regard to the tickets submitted by Councilman Waring last week,” O’Toole said.

Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry President Alex Kasman said the group will watch the issue to make sure church members aren’t given preferential treatment.

Information from: The Post and Courier,

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