Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Increased parking fines in Toronto go into effect Thursday
Public Works chairman Denzil Minnan-Wong announced that new $150 parking fines will be going into effect to try to crack down on curb hogs on key rush-hour routes.
Minnan-Wong said the changes were meant to stop “jackasses” from stopping their vehicles in curb lanes and tying up traffic.
“Illegally parked and stopped vehicles significantly contribute to traffic congestion and are costing motorists money in travel delays, vehicle operating costs and accidents,” Minnan-Wong said Tuesday. “We’ve all experienced it, the flagrant behaviour of a few thoughtless individuals.”
Up until Thursday, the ticket for getting caught in a no standing or no parking zone on a rush -hour route only cost between $40 and $60. The $150 ticket only applies during rush hour — between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The city also now has a fixed fine for parking tickets — meaning they can’t be lowered by a judge — to try to discourage residents from fighting them in court to try to get a reduced fine.
In an effort to get motorists to pay their tickets, the city will also start to tow your car if you’re caught illegally parked with three or more parking tickets that haven’t been paid in 120 days.
The city calls the measure the “Habitual Offender Towing Initiative.” Drivers have a two-week window to settle outstanding tickets before the city will actually start towing vehicles.
On Monday, Mayor Rob Ford called the ticket hike a “cash grab.”
“That’s not true,” Minnan-Wong said Tuesday. “I would not support changing the fine structure just to raise more money.
“This is first and foremost an initiative to ease congestion.”
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