Enforcing laws to park
Carbonear’s enforcement officer may soon be ticketing vehicles
Drivers parking in places where they shouldn’t be in Carbonear may soon have someone other than a police officer to watch out for.
If a proposed change to the town’s traffic regulations is adopted at council’s next meeting Jan. 19, municipal enforcement officer Gord Parsons will have the authority to issue tickets for any number of parking infractions.
At council’s most recent meeting held Jan. 5, a notice of motion was passed to vote on the change at its next meeting. The Department of Municipal Affairs recently gave its approval to the proposed change.
As it currently stands, anyone wishing to have an illegally parked vehicle ticketed can do so by contacting police. Parsons himself has taken complaints to police in the past and provided evidence in court on such matters.
“You can do the same thing,” he explained to The Compass in a recent interview. “As a citizen of the town, if you come out and see somebody parked across the crosswalk or in a handicapped spot and you don’t see a sign in their window, you can take the plate numbers, time, date, address, and go to the RCMP and make a complaint. They can issue a ticket on your behalf and you’ll appear in court.”
Under the proposed change to how ticketing is handled, Parsons himself will be able to respond to complaints and issue tickets without getting police involved.
“Now what they can do, as soon as everything goes in place and I have the tickets, is they make a complaint, I could drop down there, sure enough the vehicle is there, or in my patrol I see a vehicle there, and I can automatically just issue a ticket and put it under their wiper.”
Parsons said the town has heard specific complaints about people illegally occupying blue zone parking spots at the Conception Bay Regional Community Centre. Leaving vehicles in the fire lanes at the same building has also been an issue.
Another problematic area is the crosswalk in front of the post office on Water Street. Parsons has heard complaints from older residents and people with mobility issues. For residents who use motorized wheelchairs and rely on a lowered curb to cross the road, a vehicle parked over the sidewalk prevents them from doing so.
“I don’t understand why people would park there,” Parsons said. “If we put big bright stripes across the road, anybody that drove at all would realize it’s there for a reason.”
Vehicles parked next to fire hydrants and blocking driveways have also been an issue in Carbonear.
Vehicles impeding snow-clearing operations have typically been towed in the past. Under the regulation changes, the enforcement officer will be able to issue tickets in these cases.
“Rather than having to tow a vehicle, we can actually provide a ticket now if they’re parked during our snow clearing (operations),” town administrator Cynthia Davis told councillors at the Jan. 5 meeting.
Responding to a question asked by Coun. David Kennedy, Davis also confirmed the town will be able to issue tickets at the TC Square shopping mall.
The majority of violations vehicle owners can get ticketed for involve a $50 fine. There are $100 fines relevant to parking commercial vehicles, leaving material on the road, and repairing a vehicle on a street. Illegally parking in a blue zone spot involves a $400 fine.
According to Davis, fines will be paid to the province, with the town receiving a small administrative fee.
A proposed traffic regulation change in Carbonear could see the town’s municipal enforcement officer take on the responsibility of ticketing drivers for illegally parking at places like the TC Square Shopping Centre.