Toronto: More Motorists Avoid Paying for Parking Tickets By Using the Rules in Place

Update: see previous posts – 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)

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Parking ticket issued to vehicle that is parked within 3 metres of a fire hydrant.
Parking ticket issued to vehicle that is parked within 3 metres of a fire hydrant.

Toronto drivers were issued fewer parking tickets last year and of those who did get nabbed, more were able to get out of paying them, a new city staff report says.

The City of Toronto issued 2,761,802 parking tickets in 2012, worth about $94 million dollars in revenue, down 2.5 per cent from a year earlier.

But drivers beat the rap on more than 22 per cent of them, or 633,108 tickets, last year. That’s up from the previous year, when 17 per cent or 493,185 tickets were cancelled, the report says.

“This is a big revenue lost for the city,” Coun. Joe Mihevc told CBC News. “We need that money.”

Toronto parking officials say the number of tickets being issued have dropped, in part, because officers are more often tasked with other duties, such as helping relocate vehicles at public events, taking time away from ticketing activities, the report says.

Many overzealous parking enforcement officers patrol the streets of Toronto and force motorists to challenge their tickets, sometimes relying on the Parking Cancellation Guidelines created by the City of Toronto's City Councillors
Many overzealous parking enforcement officers patrol the streets of Toronto and force motorists to challenge their tickets, sometimes relying on the Parking Ticket Cancellation Guidelines created by the City of Toronto’s City Councillors.  The grace period went from 5 minutes to 10 minutes in July, 2012

People More Familiar with Cancellation Guidelines

More tickets were also likely cancelled in 2012 because the 10-minute grace period was introduced, up from five minutes. People are also becoming more familiar with the city’s parking ticket cancellation guidelines and the process to fight them, according to the report, which is set to be presented to the city’s Government Management Committee next month.

Coun. Josh Matlow said drivers who park illegally should get a ticket but that some leniency, such as a grace period, is reasonable.

“We should be enforcing parking to make sure that we protect people’s safety and also make sure that we clear road allowances,” he told CBC News. “Not just go after a quota.”

Drivers say that finding a parking spot in the city is incredibly difficult.

“It is impossible really,” one driver told CBC News. “Like you have to look out for the fire hydrants, figure out the signs, which way they are pointed.”

The largest number of tickets issued in Toronto last year were for expired parking meters, totalling 594,355 tickets.

With a fine of $30 each, that’s worth about $17.8 million.

The second largest category — totalling 569,783 tickets — were issued to drivers who parked in prohibited zones. At $40 each, that comes to about $22.8 million.

These two categories represented about 42 per cent of all the tickets issued in 2012, according to the report.

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