Whether your licence plates say Ontario or Alberta, if you are parking illegally and don’t pay three tickets, your vehicle can be towed.
Brian Moniz, operations supervisor at Toronto Police Parking Enforcement West, wants to ensure offenders get this message, after the first week of a zero-tolerance enforcement policy against offending drivers with out-of-province plates.
The policy is an effort to clear gridlock along rush-hour routes where out-of-province offenders would park without recourse and free up parking space for legal road users.
Beginning February 23, out-of-province licence plate holders who park illegally more than three times are being towed. Previously, these vehicles received parking tickets but the city had no recourse to collect outstanding tickets. That allowed drivers with these plates to continuously abuse parking regulations.
This is no longer the case, as one habitual offender found out.
The vehicle with a New Brunswick licence plate, had racked up 330 tickets amounting to $6,920 in fines since February 2014.
It took police three attempts to remove the vehicle from Westmoreland Ave.
“It was quite difficult to tow because it had a snowplow attached that was lowered to the ground,” said Moniz. “Two different tow trucks were unable to tow it, including a specialized heavy-tow vehicle. An attempt to remove it with a flatbed truck also failed after two hours of trying. It took a JP Towing driver with a lot of experience to do the job for us.”
“As the vehicle was being hooked up to the tow truck, a neighbour emerged and said she knew the driver and she was going to get him. The owner came out very upset and wanted us to forget about towing it. He was very rude and confrontational, he went into his residence and then came back and got into the vehicle and started it while it was hooked up.”
After police were summoned, the owner was allowed to take some personal belongings out of the vehicle before it was towed away.
The vehicle was registered to a New Brunswick resident born in 1936.
Moniz said the vehicle was driven by a 42-year-old man.
Each year, nearly 150,000 vehicles with out-of-province licence plates are ticketed for parking illegally. Only 15 per cent of the offenders pay their fines and almost 7,700 offenders have three or more tickets issued to their vehicles and ignore the fines.
Drivers with out-of-province licence plates and three or more outstanding parking tickets will have their vehicles towed if they are parked illegally. Towed vehicles are subjected to towing fees of approximately $200 and daily storage fees of up to $80.
Habitual offenders with Ontario plates have been getting towed since February 2014.
Since the beginning of the year, 584 Ontario-plated vehicles have been towed. Since the out-of-province vehicle campaign began this week, 109 vehicles have been impounded.
“There’s still an element that is scoffing at the law by occupying streets without permits,” said Moniz. “We are aggressively targetting these vehicles and we will have them impounded.”
Q: How do I avoid having my vehicle towed and impounded?
A: In order to avoid having your vehicle towed and impounded and incur towing fees of approximately $200, plus daily storage fees of up to $80:
- Park legally
- Pay your outstanding tickets
Q: How do I settle and pay outstanding Parking Infractions to avoid being towed as a Habitual Offender?
A: Payments to Parking Infraction Notices are administered by the City’s Revenue Services Division, Parking Ticket Operations. Information on payment options can be found here.
Q: How do I get a City of Toronto overnight parking permit for permit parking areas:
A: Overnight parking permits and temporary parking permits are available from the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services.
Q: How do I change my vehicle registration, including license plates, to Ontario registration:
A: The Ontario Highway Traffic Act stipulates that a person upon becoming a resident of Ontario, has 30 days to register their vehicle in Ontario.