The New Year brings new, increased fines for parking tickets in the City of Regina.
On November 25, 2013 the City of Regina agreed to raise all parking ticket fines based on the recommendations of the Public Works Committee. The Public Works Committee compared parking ticket fines of several cities like Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer. The Public Works Committee stressed the following message:
“Over the last few years, the City has seen a significant rise in the number of parking tickets issued. This increase is the direct result of two factors: 1) the increase in the number of Parking Enforcement Officers issuing tickets; and 2) parking penalties (fines) have not increased in over 10 years, and therefore, are not high enough to deter people from parking illegally. Currently, asa result of low fine amounts, citizens and visitors choose to park illegally knowing there is achance they may not receive a ticket and that if they do receive a ticket, the financial penalty is relatively small compared to the cost of obtaining legal parking. In many instances, the cost of a parking ticket is lower than what it would cost to park at an off-street parking lot.”
Based on this message, City Councillors quickly agreed to increase all parking fines and send the increases to the City solictor to change Schedule “K” of The Regina Traffic Bylaw, 9900 and to implement the new fines on January 1, 2014.
Any vehicles parked illegally or have its meter expire will be left with a $55 ticket, $10 above the previous rate of $45. The biggest impact will be felt if the driver pays the fine early. Previously, tickets paid within the first 14 days only cost $10 with that cost now jumping to $20.
“It definitely sucks, but everything is sort of going up,” said Tyler Lecouffe.
As someone who works downtown, Lecouffe recently began parking his vehicle at the Cornwall Centre paying an all-day parking rate. However, he is looking for another option as the price for that is jumping as well.
“It would be nice if there were more options, especially downtown.”
The New Year also brings a hefty increase for blocking a fire hydrant at $100 and $200 for parking in a designated disability parking zone. Both of those are double the current amount.
The new parking fines were set by City Council at the end of November weeks after it was revealed the city has nearly $3 million in outstanding parking tickets left to collect. One offender owns $30,000 alone.
This is the first parking ticket increase since 2003 and it is expected to bring in an extra $700,000 a year for the city.