Toronto: City Council asks Toronto Police to Observe 10-Minute Grace Period for Overtime Parking: The Fixer

Update: see previous posts – 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)

Despite the fact that the City of Toronto passed an amendment back in July, 2012, which extended the 5 minute grace period to a 10 minute grace period with regard to paid parking (which amended the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines) Parking Enforcement Officers and police, continue to issue tickets to motorists within 10 minutes of the expiration period of the paid parking tag.  This forces the motorist to make a trip to request that their ticket be cancelled under the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines.  City councillors will deal with this issue on Monday, April 8, 2013 and will pass a resolution which instructs the Toronto Police Services Board (employer of Toronto Parking Enforcement Officers and Toronto Police) to stop issuing tickets to motorists who have paid for parking and where the parking tag purchased has expired within 10 minutes of the paid time. But police could still keep issuing tickets that fall within the grace period, forcing drivers to go online or to a parking tag office to cancel them.
Despite the fact that the City of Toronto passed an amendment back in July, 2012, which extended the 5 minute grace period to a 10 minute grace period with regard to paid parking (which amended the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines) Parking Enforcement Officers and police, continue to issue tickets to motorists within 10 minutes of the expiration period of the paid parking tag. This forces the motorist to make a trip to request that their ticket be cancelled under the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines. City councillors will deal with this issue on Monday, April 8, 2013 and will pass a resolution which instructs the Toronto Police Services Board (employer of Toronto Parking Enforcement Officers and Toronto Police) to stop issuing tickets to motorists who have paid for parking and where the parking tag purchased has expired within 10 minutes of the paid time. But Police could still keep issuing parking tickets that relate to the 10 minutes within the grace period; still forcing Torontonians et al, to go to the City of Toronto’s website online or one of the City’s four (4) offices in person to plead with the clerk to cancel them.

see source

It is now up to Toronto police to give drivers a break on paid parking that expires within 10 minutes of the arrival of a parking enforcement officer.

City council passed a motion last Friday to ask the Toronto Police Services Board to instruct parking cops to not issue a ticket until the 10-minute grace period it approvedlast summer has expired.

Pay and Display Machine, with a parking enforcement officer in the background.  Parking rates will increase by an average .50 cents increase.  Toronto issues about 2.8 million parking tickets a year and generate about 80 million dollars a year.  That figure will now increase, given the increase in the parking rates in July, 2012.
Pay and Display Machine, with a parking enforcement officer in the background, ready to meet his daily quota and issue a parking ticket.  If the Pay & Display receipt from this machine is displayed on your dashboard and expired by six (6) minutes, parking enforcement officers will issue a parking ticket, generally with a $30-$40 fine. Upon receiving the ticket, you can attend any Parking Tag Operation location and it will be cancelled according to the City’s 10 minute grace period policy. Wouldn’t it just make a lot more sense to instruct the parking enforcement officers to follow city council’s amendment from a 5 min. to 10 min. grace period under the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines and not issue any parking ticket? Who directs the parking enforcement officers who work through the Toronto police other than the City of Toronto?   Parking rates increased in July, 2012 by an average .50 cents increase. Toronto issues about 2.8 million parking tickets a year and generate about 80 million dollars a year – 80 million will now climb as a direct result of the .50 cent increase in public parking rates.

If police go along with council’s request, drivers will no longer have to go to a parking tag operations office or online to cancel a ticket issued within 10 minutes of the expiry of paid parking.

Councillor Paul Ainslie (Ward 43, Scarborough East), who made the motion, said it makes more sense for police to extend the grace period than force drivers and city staff go to the trouble and expense of cancelling it.

We’ve been reporting on the city’s reluctance to inform the public about the grace period and ticket cancellation guidelines, which is at odds with council’s intention to extend mercy to people who are a few minutes late.

More from thestar.com:

There also seems to be a lot of confusion on the part of counter staff at parking tag offices, some of whom believed that a maximum of just two tickets could be cancelled.

City councillors have taken heat from retailers on streets such as St. Clair Ave. over $30 tickets issued to customers right after their paid parking ran out, saying it is so annoying that they won’t come back.

We argued that if enforcement officers held back on a ticket until 10 minutes after paid parking expires, it would be more efficient and better reflect the spirit of the grace period.

Police say they already hold back for five minutes before issuing tickets, but we recently got one that was issued just three minutes after our time expired, and previously had others for less than five minutes.

After our last column, Toronto police spokesperson Mark Pugash left us a phone message saying that if council wants police to extend the grace period, “it has a lot of work to do.”

He was referring to the need for a formal request from council to the police board to amend enforcement rules.

No more excuses now.

 

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