Towing Charges ($70.00) to be Introduced in the City of Red Deer, Alberta

Update:

See the source, the Red Deer Advocate

For the first time ever, parking violators will be charged for towing in Red Deer.

Drivers will have to pay $70 to the City of Red Deer if their vehicle is towed, on top of their parking ticket.

Red Deer city council supported the extra fee on Monday after hearing towing costs were passed onto the taxpayer in 2010. Based on the towing of 550 vehicles in 2009/2010, the annual cost to the taxpayer was about $60,000.

Joyce Boon, co-manager of Inspections and Licensing, said drivers have only been given a ticket for parking violations, such as not abiding by the 48-hour period to get their vehicle off the street before snow clearing, or parking in fire lanes or other prohibitive zones. Such a ticket typically costs $60 — or $40 if paid within 10 days.

“The cost of towing has been very heavy on the city,” said Boon.

The city entered into a new towing contract on Sept. 1, 2008 and this led to an increase in costs. Under this contract, the cost for towing a vehicle is greater than the ticket for parking in a restricted area.

The city estimates a tow from any location in Red Deer can range from $45 to $65, plus $40 if a winch is required, and $25 for dollies. Plus, an additional charge of $75 per hour for standby service can be added to the bill.

“I don’t think this should be subsidized by the public, but I question how we are recovering the charge,” said Councillor Tara Veer. “The dollar amount seems a little high.”

Boon said the city also has to take the waiting fee into account.

“We’ve averaged out our costs — over the new contract rate coming in the new year, the one we’ve been paying and the number of tickets we’ve issued,” she said.

Vehicles parked in prohibited zones are towed to the city’s impound, or they may be just towed around the street corner so a snow clearing machine can do its job.

“People who don’t move their cars will probably react quite negatively to it,” said Boon. “The other members of the public, once they know this has been beared by the taxpayer for the last little while, will be happy.”

Council was told Alberta municipalities deal with towing costs in three different ways — making the owner pay the towing fee, incorporating the towing cost into the parking ticket, or absorbing the cost as Red Deer has done.

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One thoughtful comment

  1. This is a terrible idea. If the government cannot enforce the parking law without charging additional fees, then the ticket price should increase to reflect inflation, or the 48-hr period should be longer. Other possibilities is a general lack of parking space, or inadequate driver notification. Towing isn’t a service to people that is subsidized by the government, it is the government taking a car that is in violation of a law/bylaw. This is similar to an old phrase, that the shooting victim should pay for taking the bullet.

    Also, if a ticket costs up to 60$, and towing costs up to 65$, adding another 70$ to the ticket is obviously not justifiable.

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