Harrison council has decided to give their parking fines more teeth, by increasing penalties to $100 an offence.
“These recommendations came from several years of the bylaw enforcement officer (saying) that we’ve been too lenient,” Mayor Leo Facio said during council Monday (March 4).
According to a staff report presented to council, more than three-quarters of all bylaw infractions in the village have been traffic and parking related.
There were 106 infractions in 2018 — down from a high of 197 in 2015, but still significantly higher than any other bylaw infractions that year. More than 30 of the 2018 traffic fines were subject to collection as of Feb. 6, 2019.
During Monday’s meeting, council voted to increase the fines on 21 offences in the village’s Highway and Traffic Bylaw to $100.
Currently ranging between $15 and $40, these offences include parking in a handicapped spot without a valid placard, parking on the highway for more than 48 hours, facing the wrong direction from the normal flow of traffic and parking where prohibited.
Offenders who pay within the first 14 days will get a 10 per cent discount, while people who pay late will get a 10 per cent increase.
Council was on board with the increases for the most part, but did have some questions about the wording around some of the offences. Councillor Gerry Palmer noted that there isn’t a fine for people parking in electric vehicle charging spots without an electric car, and councillor Samantha Piper said there should be an offence for parking too close to intersections.
These kind of changes are separate from the fine increase, and will be discussed by council sometime in the future.