In the City of Toronto, approximately 2.8 million tickets (and growing) are issued each year and the City collects the fines associated with almost 82 % of all tickets issued, representing annual revenues of approximately $80 Million.
Although the Province of Ontario has reciprocal agreements regarding traffic violations with other Provinces and Territories within Canada and with States within the United States of America, this does not extend to parking tickets issued by the the City of Toronto, to cars improperly parked. See Reciprocal Agreements within Canada and the U.S.A, which includes the Canadian Driver Licence Compact.
If a visitor to Toronto receives a traffic ticket for a moving violation, given their status as Non-residents, they can fight their tickets, without having to attend and dispute the ticket in the court room where the trial is taking place.
Recently the City of Toronto revealed that it has a low expectation that out of town drivers, who receive parking tickets, will actually pay their parking fines.
In 2008 the City of Toronto issued 113,781 parking tickets to out of Province motor vehicles. The City only had 16% of those out of Province motorists pay their parking fines. On average the parking fine amounted to $30.00.
The 16% collected in parking fines equalled about $546,148.80 (based on 18,204.96 $30 parking tickets), which represents a loss of approximately $2.9 million in potential revenue to the City of Toronto’s coffers.
Given that the City acknowledges that 84% of motor vehicles visiting from outside of Toronto don’t pay their tickets and there is no mechanism available to legally force them to pay (given that other jurisdictions will not share the vehicle’s owners name and address and other particulars), the City is now considering placing a friendly reminder on those improperly parked vehicles, rather then a ticket, which will has a 84% probability of never being paid.
Conversely, if an Ontario resident drives to another City in Canada and illegally parks their vehicle, apparently the motor vehicle’s owner information will not be disclosed by the Ontario Provincial Government, because there is no reciprocal agreement allowing exchange of information over simple parking matters and therefore that City will have no information (name, address, DOB, licence number, etc) to utilize on the parking ticket or in an attempt to collect the resulting fines and costs, through a default system.
Update: March 19, 2008 – No escape from EU traffic fines
Update: January 9, 2009 – Foreign drivers ‘not prosecuted’
Update: February 5, 2010: An auditor’s report has revealed that as of December 2008, City of Toronto books showed about $103 million in unpaid fines. About $7.5 million in unpaid fines can be attributed to tickets written to out-of-province motorists for tickets issued in 2007 and 2008.
Update: September 27, 2010 – EU urged to adopt foreign driver prosecution system