Group works to expose unfair traffic enforcements in Winnipeg
When it comes to parking tickets some spots in Winnipeg are set up to see driver’s fail, according to the founder of Wise Up Winnipeg.
Todd Dube and his group are working to expose what they call unfair traffic enforcement in the city. He said a new system, starting on Monday, doesn’t fix the root problem of a backlog in traffic tickets.
“What they did was they avoided the actual issue,” Dube said.
“The issue should be … why is there such a tremendous backlog at traffic court? Why are there so many thousands of people suddenly angry and pleading not guilty?”
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Dube went on a ride along with a Winnipeg Parking Authority parking-ticket enforcer, who wanted to remain anonymous, on Saturday and checked out some of the spots that continuously rack up tickets.
“He just has had enough [after] five years telling the city, his bosses, his management, this is an unfair spot [and] there is ambiguous or contrary signage,” Dube said of his ride-along with the ticket enforcer.
“The city should be correcting the locations not taking advantage,” he added.
The parking-ticket enforcer is so fed up he is resigning on Monday, Dube said.
Right now, drivers who want to challenge a parking ticket go to court at the provincial Highway Traffic Matters building.
If the presiding judicial justice of the peace agrees with the gripe, the wrongly ticketed driver doesn’t pay; if the justice of the peace disagrees, the driver must pay the ticket at the Winnipeg Parking Authority building.
Starting Monday, drivers will see a city traffic screening officer at the parking authority building, who will decide whether there’s any weight to the complaint. That officer will decide if there’s a reduction or if the ticket will be dismissed.
If the city official decides the parking ticket was warranted after all, the driver can then appeal to a provincially appointed adjudicator for a fee of $25, which will be waived if the adjudicator ends up siding with the driver, city officials said Friday.
That completely misses the point, Dube said. The problem is with poorly marked and confusing signs and tree limbs getting in the way, he added.
“These [parking-ticket enforcers] round their bend on their beat, and they know there is going to be a car parked there, like there is every hour, and they keep issuing tickets,” he said about hot spots in the city.
On the tour, Dube said they stopped at five hot spots, but there are more than 40 around the city. The worst ones are downtown near the University of Winnipeg.
“They are locations where you can stand and look at the tower of signs for 20 minutes …. And everybody will have a different opinion on whether you can park or not,” Dube said.
It’s not the only battle that Dube and his group are fighting. On Sunday they held signs at Grant Avenue and Wilton Street warning people of photo enforcement.