Update: see previous posts – May 14, 2013 Toronto: City Council asks Toronto Police to Observe 10-Minute Grace Period for Overtime Parking: The Fixer, March 29, 2013 Toronto: More Motorists Avoid Paying for Parking Tickets By Using the Rules in Place, February 15, 2013 Street Permit Parking: Councillor Paula Fletcher Seeks Grace Period for Bi-Weekly Switch, January 22, 2013 Toronto Parking: A 20 Minute Grace Period for Permit-Holders Unloading Goods?, January 8, 2013 City of Toronto Neglects to Enforce 10-Minute Parking Grace Period in Etobicoke, December 23, 2012 Toronto Parking Tickets – Issued Before the 10 Minute Grace Period is Up and Only Two of These Tickets Will be Cancelled, December 20, 2012 Toronto Parking Ticket – 10 Minute Grace Period Only Offered Twice to Motorists, November 27, 2012 Toronto: Meter Parking Comes With An Additional 10 Minute Grace Period, July 11, 2012 Toronto to Increase On-Street Time-Restricted Parking “Grace Period” to 10 Minutes, February 6, 2012 Toronto Increases Rush Hour Parking Fines from $60 to $150 and Blocking Bike Lanes Anytime is Worth a $150 Ticket, April 13, 2011 Parking Tickets (Toronto) Cancelled Electronically, via Facsimile or Email, July 1, 2010 Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines, May 20, 2010 Parking Ticket Exemptions (25 Page Document – Toronto)
A new motion to overrule police and give drivers 10 minutes’ grace before being ticketed is headed to council again.
After months of confusion surrounding a 10-minute grace period for parking tickets, something is finally being done — again, that is.
On Feb. 24, the city’s management committee will discuss an amendment that will give drivers a 10-minute grace period after their parking meter has expired.
While this might be news for some, for others this is a serious case of déjà-vu.
In July 2012, city council passed a similar motion that gave drivers a 10-minute grace period after their pay-and-display parking receipt expired.
So what gives?
Currently, Toronto police observe a five-minute grace period, creating confusion for drivers who receive a parking ticket for being between six and 10 minutes late. The amendment will actually make it a 10-minute grace period, which means police will not be able to ticket someone until 10 minutes after their pay-and-display ticket expires.
“The police have been very resistant to adjust their rule to city council’s rule, so therefore it has been incredibly confusing for the general public,” said Councillor Josh Matlow, who has been spearheading the issue.
“Let’s say you are seven minutes late; the police will still give you a ticket, but if you go to the city administrative office they will forgive the ticket, in most cases.”
In November 2012, the City’s ombudsman Fiona Crean, urged council to better inform citizens about the city’s policies for challenging tickets, including better access on the city’s website.
“The issue is not about what we pass at city council, but having the police agree to resolve the issue with the city,” Matlow said.
“The reality is that they need to work in concert with council’s resolution,” he said adding city staff are getting closer to resolving the issue with the police once and for all.
Police were unavailable for comment on the issue Friday evening.
In 2013, the City of Toronto issued 2.63 million parking tickets, raising $78.44 million in revenue, according to the City of Toronto.
Approximately 572,000, or 21.7 per cent of these tickets, were issued for expired pay-and-display offences.
According to the report, if the motion is passed it will reduce the number of tickets issued by as much as 10 per cent, or about 60,000 tickets. This would reduce revenue by about $1.8 million annually.
In addition, the city will need to spend between $500,000 and $700,000 to change parking signs across the city.
The new motion comes less than a month after city council approved hefty parking fines of up to $150 for parking, stopping, or idling during rush hour. The new rules apply between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The fines apply citywide.