A courier van with Alberta licence plates and the subject of 356 unpaid parking tickets was one of the vehicles towed Monday as part of Toronto’s new “zero-tolerance” crackdown on habitual out-of-province offenders.
Toronto Police parking enforcement officers followed through with a promise made last month by Mayor John Tory to crack down on such offenders and began a towing blitz of illegally parked vehicles with out-of-province plates that are discovered to have a history of not paying fines for past parking infractions.
As it stands, said Brian Moniz, of Toronto Police’s parking enforcement division, the city has no legal recourse when it comes to collecting parking fines from those who drive vehicles with out-of-province plates. The offending vehicle’s origin of registration must be obtained for a conviction to be reached and Ontario has no such information-sharing agreements with other provinces.
However, the new blitz means “zero tolerance” for those found to be habitual offenders, according to Moniz.
“These vehicles contribute to congestion and gridlock, and this is the only we’re going to get compliance,” said Moniz. “This is the new way (we’re) doing business.”
Moniz added around 30 habitual offenders with out-of-province plates had their vehicles towed as of 3 p.m. Monday.
He said getting those vehicles back will come at a hefty price: $200 for the tow and around $80 for every day the vehicle spends in a towing yard.
According to Toronto Police, the city tickets around 150,000 vehicles with out-of-province plates every year, but only around 15% pay the fines. There are currently 7,700 vehicles with out-of-town plates that have accumulated three or more parking tickets and have made it onto the city’s list of habitual offenders.