Update: see previous post – February 6, 2012 Toronto Increases Rush Hour Parking Fines from $60 to $150 and Blocking Bike Lanes Anytime is Worth a $150 Ticket, January 4, 2012 Toronto Takes Advantage of Rush Hour Gridlock By Tripling Parking Fine$, November 15, 2011 War on Car? Toronto Towing Fees Up 100% in March, 2012?, October 6, 2011 Toronto Towing is Down, Grinding Gridlock is Up, June 27, 2011 Expert Consultants Invited to Toronto to Come Up with Permanent Solutions for Grinding Gridlock, October 20, 2010 Toronto – Total Gridlock, March 30, 2010 Toronto Ranks 19 Out of 19 in Daily Commuting Times
The City of Toronto is about to get a lot tougher on drivers who park illegally on city streets during rush hour.
Officials are set to announce stricter parking by-laws on Tuesday that will increase the fine for parking illegally during rush hour to a fixed-rate of $150, up from the current $60.
The increased rush-hour fine will be in effect for eight (8) hours every Mon-Fri. from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Officials say the new fine structure will be all-or-nothing and that drivers will no longer be able to get such fines reduced.
Drivers in the city were not happy to learn of the new laws.
“I think it’s understandable, but still unfair. It’s one of those things you think about every so often, you think you’re just getting gouged a little bit,” said one Toronto resident.
Under the new rules, tow trucks can also haul away a car if there are three unpaid, undisputed tickets on the offending driver’s record. The City is rolling this new initiative, providing a two (2) grace period for motorists to pay the outstanding fines before they start towing.
The city also now has a fixed fine for parking tickets — meaning they can’t be lowered by a judge — to try to discourage residents from fighting them in court to try to get a reduced fine. But based on the new initiative, it is important to challenge everyone of these tickets, this way you won’t be towed for having unpaid/unchallenged/undisputed parking tickets.
In an effort to get motorists to pay their tickets, the city will also start to tow your car if you’re caught illegally parked with three or more parking tickets that haven’t been paid in 120 days.
The city calls the measure the “Habitual Offender Towing Initiative.” Drivers have a two-week grace period to settle outstanding tickets before the city will actually start towing vehicles.
Habitual parking offenders — vehicle owners with three unpaid or unchallenged tickets — will have two weeks to get their fines paid. They will then be subject to immediate towing if they’re caught committing a fourth violation more than 120 days after their last offence.
“I don’t like that at all, that’s really dumb,” said one driver. “Three? They should at least give you like five.”
The new provisions will be in effect as of Thursday, January 23, 2014 at midnight.
Toronto councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, who is chair of the Public Works committee, says more details surrounding the new parking policies will be revealed on Tuesday.
Tow Truck companies are rubbing their hands together as they realize they will experience some brisk business and increased profits, especially in the downtown core (ie-University Ave.). The average charge for a tow, will cost motorist about $270 (for the tow and the impound fees).
Some of the by-laws that were amended in February, 2012 to make these changes and increase in fines possible:
1. City of Toronto By-Law No. 165-2012: Motorists that stop, stand or park a vehicle during all or any portion of the general rush hour period(s) of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and or 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday except Public Holidays where official signs to prohibit parking, standing or stopping are displayed will now be subjected to a $150.00 fine. (The City of Toronto passed and enacted this new by-law February 7, 2012 which amended the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 950, Traffic and Parking – February 7, 2012 CITY OF TORONTO BY – LAW No. 165- 2012 – New: by inserting a new Subsection A.1 in §950-405.)
2. City of Toronto By-Law No. 166-2012: Council also amended the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths and Bicycle Lanes to increase the fixed fine amount to $150.00 with respect to the offences of stopping a vehicle other than a bicycle in a bicycle lane at anytime. (The City of Toronto passed and enacted this new by-law February 7, 2012 which amended the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths and Bicycle Lanes, is amended by deleting Subsections C and D and inserting in lieu thereof new Subsections C, D and E)