A new fixed-fine system for illegal parking have been implemented in Toronto where city drivers who park illegally on major roads during rush hour will face a 150% increase in fines under new city regulations. The fine hikes also extend to raising the penalty on motorists who block bike lanes at any hour. Furthermore, the new rules will also make the rush-hour time frame longer and allow vehicles who have three or more unsettled tickets to be towed if they are caught parking illegally. The fees and new regulations will be applied citywide.
The move is an attempt to discourage rush hour violators from clogging downtown streets and lessen Toronto’s gridlocks. The provincially-approved move, according to city officials, is an attempt to change driver behavior and not about raising revenue. Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, said that he opposes the extended rush hour, arguing that it will force traffic onto local side streets and hurt businesses. Furthermore, Ford said that delivery trucks and couriers are being targeted, and that local businesses that are dependent on courier services will be affected.
Toronto issues almost 3 million parking tickets a year and accrues $80 million in revenue from the administered penalties. A measly 0.3% of that money comes from rush hour parking and stopping violations. The new parking fines are seen to be part of a wider effort by city officials to ease the city’s growing traffic problems. City officials have been criticized for being unable to curb and rectify the city’s growing traffic problems.
Edward Prutschi, one of the premier Toronto criminal lawyers the legal analyst for NewsTalk1010 and partner at Bytensky Prutschi Shikhman criminal law firm, discusses Toronto’s new ticketing fees on Beyond the Mic with Mike Bullard.