Toronto’s new parking enforcement rules go into effect on Thursday. CityNews learned last week that under the new rules, the city will be able to tow your vehicle if you have three undisputed, unpaid tickets on your record and a fourth is being issued. Click here for a map of where cars end up once they’re towed.
There will be a 14-day grace period to pay outstanding tickets before that new law kicks in on Thursday — two days after the city announces the changes.
Parking officers will also be able to issue tickets for expired licence plate tags on parked cars. Previously, police pulled cars over to issue that fine.
And tickets for parking on busy streets during rush hour will more than double to a $150 fixed fine, meaning a judge can’t discount a disputed fine. The old charge was $60.
Rush hour parking bans apply from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.
“The steps that we are taking to raise the fines will send the message to delivery trucks and other individuals who park illegally to say, ‘You may not care about everybody else, but if you care about your own pocket book, make a better decision,’ ” Coun. Josh Matlow told CityNews.
Brian Lawrie, Founder of Pointt’s paralegal services, says the laws aren’t in place to tackle congestion, but instead to wrest hard-earned money from citizens.
“They are using it to increase taxation and it’s quite plain to everybody that that’s the purpose,” he told CityNews.
He also thinks towing vehicles after a few unpaid tickets is extreme.
“It’s an unfair punishment for something that really is a minor, nuisance type of violation.”
Reaction was mixed online, with some calling it a blatant cash grab, and others saying the threat of being towed is the only way to get drivers to pony up and pay their outstanding tickets.
@CityNews No, that isn’t a high enough threshold to warrant such an extreme & costly response! Sounds like just another money making scheme.
— Ralph F. (@ImaCanuck) January 17, 2014
@CityNews Good. That’s 3 chances. Read the signs, obey the laws, follow the rules of the road. Remember people – 3 strikes and you’re out
— Jason Monck (@ClvrJason) January 17, 2014
Chair of Public Works and Infrastructure Committee Coun. Denzil Minnan-Wong will announce the plan, dubbed City of Toronto’s Reducing Traffic Congestion Parking Regulations Program, in a news conference next Tuesday.