Drivers in Toronto caught parking illegally could now face fines of $150.
In an attempt to further relieve traffic congestion, the city of Toronto has increased select illegal parking fines. Parking ticket fines are now $150 for drivers who are caught blocking sidewalks or high-occupancy vehicle lanes, double parking, or standing in TTC zones.
Previously the fines ranged from $40 to $60.
"By attaching a real price to blocking lanes of traffic with illegal parking, we will reduce congestion," said Mayor John Tory in a statement . "This is just one more step that we are taking to keep Toronto moving and keep pedestrians safe."
The increased fines follow last year’s emphasis on tagging and towing vehicles blocking rush hour routes while parking or standing illegally. "Traffic is strangling this city and costing us millions in lost productivity. We need to take immediate action to get Toronto moving so people can get to work on time and home to their families sooner," explained the mayor at the time.
- Related Read: Commuting in Canada—How Your Drive to Work Stacks Up
By the numbers: illegal parking enforcement in 2015
Overall, parking tickets are down. In 2015, 2.18 million parking tickets were issued, compared to 2.49 million in 2014. However, these initiatives are forcing more rush hour commuters to open up their wallets.
In a report by the Toronto Police , rush hour parking tickets are up as well as the total number of vehicles towed.
Last year, 83,868 rush hour offence tickets were issued – 20,146 more than the year prior. The overall number of vehicles towed last year also increased to 42,763 from 21,995 the year before. Of the total number of vehicles towed, 17,348 vehicles were towed from rush hour routes.
- Did you know? If you see a tow truck stopped, facing the same direction you are going with its amber lights flashing, you are required to slow down and pass with caution. If the road has two or more lanes, you must leave a lane of space between you and the tow operator, if you can do so safely. Fines for not complying start at $490.
What to do if your car gets towed in Toronto
Many more people are getting towed in Toronto, so do you know what to do if it happens to you?
- If you suspect your vehicle has been towed, call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency line at 416-808-2222 to speak with the communications dispatcher.
- Have your licence plate number on hand and the location where you left your vehicle. The dispatcher will let you know if your car has been towed and relocated or impounded.
- If it has been impounded, the dispatcher will tell you which towing company or lot has possession of your vehicle.
- In addition to the parking ticket, you can expect to be on the hook for about $150 for the tow, plus daily storage costs ranging from $50 to $80. So you’ll want to pick up the vehicle as soon as possible because the storage fees will continue to accumulate the longer they have it.
Parking tickets and your auto insurance rate
In general, parking tickets do not affect your auto insurance rate. But, if you don’t pay your parking ticket, you could cause yourself a whole lot of hassle when you go to renew your licence plate. You will not be able to get your renewal sticker unless you pay any outstanding parking tickets along with any other fees incurred as a result of non-payment.
Crack down on your auto insurance rate
The city is continuing to crack down on illegal parking that affects the flow of traffic. But while parking tickets may not affect your auto insurance rate, shopping around for a lower rate will. On average, InsuranceHotline.com shoppers save $700 by comparing rates. Make sure you’re getting the best deal out there, and shop around for your car insurance coverage today.