Ticketed during tornado warning? FOX59’s questions lead to new policy

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INDIANAPOLIS – As the storm was taking hold Tuesday afternoon in Plainfield, tornado warnings were being issued in Marion County. And at the Statehouse, our own Michael Henrich and his family were taking a tour when the storms began to fire.

“The sirens went off just as the tour was ending around 2:25,” Henrich said. “We had to take shelter in the basement of the state capitol for more than an hour.”

When he and his wife got back to the car, they found a ticket on their windshield.

“We were surprised they were giving out tickets during that time,” said Henrich’s wife, Renee.

In fact, officials admitted Wednesday that a ‘handful’ of tickets were given out around the same time.

“Forget about my 20 bucks,” said Henrich. “This ticket was issued at 2:36, eleven minutes after the warning was issued. So what is this guy doing outside? Think about his safety for a second.”

“When the sirens go off, policy should be that anybody who’s working outside needs to go into a safe area,” said Renee.

“There should be some sort of policy that prevents that and protects them,” said Michael.

And wouldn’t you know – now there is a new policy – and the tickets issued during the tornado warning have now been waived.

“We realized we made a mistake and we wanted to make it right as soon as possible,” said Lou Gerig with Sease, Gerig & Associates, which handles public relations for ParkIndy. “We appreciate the heads up. ParkIndy had no policy on issuing tickets during a storm warning, and now we do.”

“I’m so grateful that ParkIndy has reconsidered the circumstances of the day and will waive the parking tickets for everyone affected during the tornado warning,” said Henrich. “Most importantly, I’m relieved to know ParkIndy is formally reaffirming a ‘safety first’ policy that protects its workers from these difficult weather situations. Everyone should always feel comfortable putting their safety first.”