Local laws apply to all of us

It seems this summer that we’ve had more complaints about the enforcement of parking regulations in Bethany Beach than at any other time. Two different people who contacted us suggested that the town specifically targets out-of-state license plates when writing tickets for expired meters or other parking infractions.

Just not true.

There is nobody immune from the long arm of the law when it comes to parking in downtown Bethany Beach. Many of the employees of our office have been cited, as well as numerous “local” people we talk with on a regular basis.

The other opinion is that the town strictly enforces its parking laws as a means of collecting additional revenue. Certainly the town generates money through tickets and citations, but that’s also taking some liberties with the realities of the situation.

The fact of the matter is that there is limited space for parking in downtown Bethany Beach during the summer, and a seemingly unlimited amount of cars circling the area, looking for a place to park. If the town did not enforce its parking laws vigorously, parking would be that much more tricky, and the businesses downtown would suffer, as well as people trying to get a spot to visit the beach.

Why would it hurt the businesses if the parking was not enforced so strictly? Well, the more people that move in and out of the spaces due to time restrictions, the more people who will be coming in and out of their shops and restaurants. It’s the same theory that many restaurants worldwide use — on busy nights, get people into and out of their tables to seat more people.

Is Bethany Beach strict with parking regulations? Absolutely. And there’s nothing wrong with it. If rules or laws are broken, they enforce it. They are not just randomly moving up and down Garfield Parkway and making up violations to sting the vacationers and take their money.

These same arguments have been raised regarding moving violations in South Bethany and Ocean View over the years, but we discount them, as well — largely because local residents get pulled over with the same regularity as vacationers. Is it strict? You bet. But it’s the same set of rules for everybody.