En­forc­ing laws to park

Car­bon­ear’s en­force­ment of­fi­cer may soon be tick­et­ing ve­hi­cles

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY AN­DREW ROBIN­SON

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.”

Var­ied com­plaints

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.

Photo by An­drew Robin­son/The Com­pass

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.

Gord Par­sons

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