Parking fines are set to rise a significant amount in Red Deer.
City council tabled a recommendation from administration for the increase in parking fines so the fees could be revisited and to allow for more incentive to those who pay their tickets early.
The proposed increase in fees stems from an announcement from the provincial government indicating they will begin to charge municipalities a surcharge of $15 to search for personal information including the name and address of the vehicle owner.
“Unless the province changes their mind we have no choice but to recoup that cost,” said Russ Pye, co-manager of the City’s inspections and licensing department.
Administration presented two options to City council to consider. In the case of a parking ticket that presently costs $30, the first option was to raise the amount to $50, but give those who paid within the first 10 days a $20 reduction. This would mean those that paid their ticket promptly pay $30.
The second option was to raise the cost of a $30 parking ticket to $45 but reduce the penalty by $10.
“We didn’t see the second option as being the best,” said Pye.
He added there is no need to search for the owner’s information if a ticket is paid within 10 days.
Last year, 34.5% of those who received a ticket for a parking violation in Red Deer were paid within 10 days. Sixty-five per cent had to have their information searched in order to send them a reminder in the mail to pay their ticket.
“I have an issue with this because people who pay on time are still paying for those who don’t pay on time,” said Councillor Paul Harris. “That’s uncomfortable for me.”
Some of the proposed ticket changes include an increase to parking infractions such as parking in a public loading zone without loading or unloading from $50 to $70, parking while there is a no parking sign for the purpose of snow removal or street cleaning from $60 to $80 and parking longer than a designated time from $30 to $50.
Council voted in favour of tabling the matter until more information can be gathered regarding the fees. The proposed changes will be brought back to council in four weeks time.