Parking Enforcement Officers Improperly Parking in “Disabled Parking Zone”

Update: See previous post – April 25, 2010 Disabled Parking Permits (Accessible Parking Permits)

Parking Enforcement Demonstrate Disrespect for Disabled and Disabled Parking Sign

In March 2008, the City of Toronto dramatically increased the amount of the fine for illegally parking in a Disabled Parking Zone from $150.00 to $450.00.

The parking enforcement officers provide tickets everyday to motor vehicles that park in Disabled Parking Zone, without a valid Disabled Parking Permit (in Toronto it is called an Accessible Parking Permit).

Apparently, the only motor vehicles that are allowed to park in Disabled Parking Zones, without an Accessible Parking Permit, are City of Toronto Parking Enforcement Officer Vehicles.

On August 24, 2010 at approximately 10 pm at a Tim Horton’s at 1214 Caledonia Road a Parking Enforcement Officer Vehicle was observed parking in a space designed for those with disabilities/special needs in a Disabled Parking Space. The Parking Enforcement Officers parked over the sign, in the disabled parking zone and walked into the Tim Horton’s and had a seat.

The parking spots next to the disabled parking spot were empty.

A woman, Ms. Melissa Goncalves, outside of the Tim Hortons noticed that this vehicle was parking in the disabled parking zone (reserved for those bearing an Accessible Parking Permit) and began to take pictures. It was only after the abled bodied enforcement officers sitting in the Timmy’s noticed that she was taking a particular interest in their choice of parking spot, that they quickly came out and drove away.

Ms. Concalves sent the picture and the story to CP24 (see picture) and CP24 followed up on the story.

When CP24 brought it to the attention of the Police, rather than acknowledging that the Police Services “Parking Enforcement” Officers displayed poor judgment and admonishing the act (disrespectful behaviour towards those who are disabled and towards the public for flaunting the law), Toronto Police Constable Wendy Drummond (spokesperson for the police) responded by saying that the parking enforcement vehicle was not parked in an “authorized” disabled spot, which requires clear markings on both the ground (indication on the ground painted) and a posted sign stating the bylaw.

Constable Drummond stated that without a posted sign (on the side of the Tim Horton’s wall, directly in front of the parking spot) and clear markings on the ground, the spot isn’t enforceable (so technically, anyone, including the parking enforcement officers can park there and cannot be ticketed).

If this sign wasn’t posted on the outside wall of the Tim Horton’s directly in front of the disabled parking spot, Constable Drummond says it isn’t a valid disabled parking spot (even if there are clear huge markings painted on the ground):


10. A parking space designated by a sign under section 11 on land owned and occupied by the Crown may be used only by vehicles displaying a valid disabled person parking permit in accordance with this Regulation. R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 581, s.10.

11. A parking space designated on Crown land or under a municipal by-law for the use of persons with a disability shall be distinctly indicated by erecting a disabled person parking permit sign which shall,

(a) be not less than forty-five centimetres in height and not less than thirty centimetres in width and bear the markings and have the dimensions as described and illustrated in the following Figure:

Toronto Police Constable Wendy Drummond says that without this sign being posted to the wall in front of the disabled parking spot that they parked in, it isn't valid and you can't ticket them or touch them!


The other sign technicrat Constable Drummond relies upon to the detriment of those who actually have disabilities.
The other sign technicrat Constable Drummond relies upon to the detriment of those who actually have disabilities.

(b) be not less than sixty centimetres in height and not less than thirty centimetres in width and bear the markings and have the dimensions as described and illustrated in the following Figure:

R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 581, s.11; O. Reg. 612/05, s. 5.

Both Toronto Police Officers and Parking Enforcement Officers work for the City of Toronto’s Toronto Police Services Board.

According to the law, neither of these Officers were disabled and should not have been parking there for their donut and coffee, especially when there were empty spaces on both sides of the cruiser.  The fact that they immediately came out when the photo’s were being taken, showed their presence of mind and the fact that they knew they should not have parked there. Ms. Drummond attempts to defend these actions and appears to condone this behaviour, without hinting for even a second, that the behaviour under scrutiny was disrespectful and wrong.  The optics in this case are terrible.

“Person with a Disability” means an individual:

(a) who cannot walk without the assistance of another individual or of a brace, cane, crutch, lower limb prosthetic device or similar assistive device or who requires the assistance of a wheelchair,

(b) who suffers from lung disease to such an extent that his or her forced expiratory volume in one second is less than one litre,

(c) for whom portable oxygen is a medical necessity,

(d) who suffers from cardiovascular disease to such an extent that the individual’s functional capacity is classified as Class III or Class IV according to Nomenclature and Criteria for Diagnosis of Diseases of the Heart and Great Vessels, ninth edition, published by Little, Brown & Co. in 1994,

(e) whose ability to walk is severely limited due to an arthritic, neurological, musculoskeletal or orthopaedic condition,

(f) whose visual acuity is 20/200 or poorer in the better eye, with corrective lenses if required, or whose maximum field of vision using both eyes has a diameter of 20 degrees or less, or

(g) whose mobility is severely limited by one or more conditions or functional impairments;

This isn’t the first time that this has happened, but at least in one of the first instances (in May 2008 at a Mississauga Tim Horton’s) this behaviour was taken alot more seriously by Peel Police.

According to a second spokeswoman for the Toronto Police, Isabelle Cotton, a parking space is not considered an official wheelchair-accessible spot unless there is a sign painted on the pavement, as well as one posted above the spot. In this case, there was only a sign on the ground, she said.

It appears that both Wendy & Isabelle, while stating that it’s not technically “illegal”, both miss the point. Both are attempting to be good spin doctors and to deflect attention away from the real issue – should they have parked there?

This is wrong and should be frowned upon by any decent citizen. There was no necessity of having to park there, no emergency, no rush, plenty of other parking spaces that were empty. They went in for a break, as many of us do – but not under these circumstances.

Why can’t the police just admit their wrong and get on with it, as opposed to telling us that it isn’t illegal and therefore it’s ok.

See the CP24 video.

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  1. I just ran into one today at a subway sandwich shop. He was parked in a handicap spot. I asked if he was handicap and he said no. I asked why he was parked in the spot he said if I was not a cop I could go F*** myself.

  2. Hi Walter: I have never seen an officer dine for free at a Tim Horton’s or in a line at a 24-hour drive-thru service, catering to motorists. Perhaps others have had a similar experience as yours.

    I know that a number of businesses use to offer the City of Toronto waste management garbage collectors an incentive or an inducement (case of beer, fastfood or other items) to remove more garbarge from their premises, than the maximum allotment allowed for. Some would receive and accept the incentive reward and then take the extra garbage, some would not. Eventually the City of Toronto put out a policy where this workplace behaviour would no longer be tolerated. I understand that the threat of disciplinary measures acted as a successful deterrent and that practice was discontinued on both sides.


    (f) Corrupt Practice, in that he or she,

    (i) offers or takes a bribe,

    (ii) fails to account for or to make a prompt, true return of money or property received in an official capacity,

    (iii) directly or indirectly solicits or receives a gratuity or present without the consent of,

    TheAct is usually invoked in investigation or charges against Police officers for direputable conduct.

    The Police must take an oath of office and promise not to use their positions for personal gain – the oath is to ensure the public that they can have trust in these officers. One of the reasons that they are well paid, is partly due to the fact that no one wants to see Officers on the take.

    Here is the oath: Police officer, etc.

    2. The oath or affirmation of office to be taken by a police officer, special constable or First Nations Constable shall be in one of the following forms set out in the English or French version of this section:

    I solemnly swear (affirm) that I will be loyal to Her Majesty the Queen and to Canada, and that I will uphold the Constitution of Canada and that I will, to the best of my ability, preserve the peace, prevent offences and discharge my other duties as (insert name of office) faithfully, impartially and according to law.

    So help me God. (Omit this line in an affirmation.)

    I don’t think that any officer of the law should be accepting inducements (gifts or presents of any sort) to be encouraged to perform their duties that they were hired and paid to perform. Freebies give the public the wrong impression and it makes for poor optics for the Toronto Police Services Board.

    Remember to always

  3. This is sickening. My father is disabled and I can’t count the number of times that we have gone to park in an accessible parking space and there is someone without a permit parked. You call these guys and
    they tell you on the phone that someone will be coming within the next 3 hours, maybe! They never come.

    I’m not surprised about the cops backing up the other cops. My youngest sister works in a Tim Horton’s and she has worked in other coffee places and restaurants as well.

    This story may only be the tip of the iceberg. She tells me that her bosses in the past give free food, free drinks, free, free, free to cops who visit their establishment. Her bosses think that they can bribe the officers to provide extra protection to them and that they don’t mind giving free everything to cops, because they think they are getting extra “protection”. When cop cars line up at the drive thru, they don’t pay, its on the house!

    I thought that cops make about $100,000 a year (a million every 10 years) and have a great pension (they retire early (long before 60) with a full pension and outstanding benefits – why don’t they pay for their coffee and donuts like everyone else?

    Isn’t it illegal to accept bribes when your a cop? This happens all the time in more places than just restaurants – now thats a story for you.

    What does the police act say about this, is it legal for cops to take food, drinks and other gifts or presents without even expecting to pay for it?

    This is wrong, but everyone in the industry knows it and when the Chief
    of Police’s son gets charged, the charges are always made to go away by the crown (either the crown stalls it and then withdraws or says the evidence is illegal and withdraws – but one thing is certain, the charges always go away and we, the people, even have to pay for the lawyers representing the cops or pay the cops wages when they are suspended – what a joke)

    The cops just showed people how they feel about the disabled when they parked there and this girl took the snapshot. They don’t care about how offensive they are, but they will give a ticket to someone else.

    They parked in a spot for the disabled and there was free spots on both side of their car, but they just wanted to prove a point, until they heard the shutter of the camera. They ran out because they knew they were wrong and the police, trying to cover up, rather then apologizing, said it was ok to park there – case closed.

    How many Tim Horton stores give the cops free unlimited food and drink? Is this legal? Please answer this question because it has always pissed me off that they fill there stomachs on the promise or illusion that they will give “extra protection” when they get paid $100,000 a year to do there jobs anyway and only come after a crime is committed anyway.

    Can cops receive free food, drinks and gifts and presents from restaurants and other places? Yes or no and if you please, some sort of explanation and rules.

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