Pay those fines, or else
Steve Newman, Renfrew Mercury
November 21, 2012
Parking fines in Renfrew finally have teeth.
For years the town wasn’t linked to the Provincial Offences Act process. But earlier this month, the town was connected, which now prevents vehicle owners from renewing their driver’s licence if they have unpaid parking tickets. The act also puts in place a fine structure which increases over time, if fines remain unpaid.
The ticketing agent for Renfrew is MLES (Municipal Law Enforcement Services), which has served as the town’s bylaw enforcement body since the paid-parking meters were removed in June.
Statistics for MLES’s first three months of operations — July, August and September — show 67 per cent of tickets issued were paid, compared to just 23 per cent for the first six months of 2012.
Paid ticket revenue is averaging $2,700 per month. This compares to the town’s cost of about $5,000 for MLES’s services per month.
To date, only about $600 of the total revenue over the first three months came from downtown parking violations.
The town initiated a one-year pilot project of no paid downtown parking in July. But tickets can still be issued for such offences as parking on the sidewalk, in the wrong direction, and in handicapped parking.
The bulk of the parking tickets since July have come from parking violations on residential streets, particularly Raglan Street North, near the hospital.
New no-parking or restricted-parking signs have been on Raglan and neighbouring streets since July 2012.
Tickets can also be issued for drivers who exceed the three-hour parking limit downtown.
A typical parking fine is $30, whose cost is only $20 if paid in the first seven days, and $30 if paid in the first 15 days. If the fine goes to what is referred to as full plate denial, the town will receive the value of a larger set fine minus provincial administrative costs.
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