Fines Not Stopping Illegal Parking in Handicapped Spaces

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Fines Not Stopping Illegal Parking in Handicapped Spaces

In Toronto, fines for parking illegally in a handicapped space have tripled. It’s not doing anything to stop those parking in handicapped spots with fraudulent or nonexistent handicapped permits, but it’s giving law enforcement a hefty bonus. Thestar.com reports that a study conducted several years ago revealed major abuses of the system and steps were taken to address the issues. Fines were raised and permits were taken away from users who were, in fact, dead. According to thestar.com:

One case involved a midtown travel agent who parked her Jaguar for free in Yorkville using a disabled parking permit before walking to a salon appointment in high heels. She said she received the permit after a leg injury, but records showed it belonged to someone with a serious heart condition.

Since the study was conducted, concerted efforts to implement handicapped parking policy has revealed that people just don’t care how much they pay when they’re caught. Ticketing rates remain steady.

Although parking enforcement officers have slapped drivers with nearly $45 million in tickets for parking illegally in a space for the disabled since 2005, they have written about the same number of tickets each year.

My guess is that people are still pretty comfortable with the amount of risk they take when they park in handicapped spaces illegally. Maybe the fine is high, but their chance of being caught is still low. Now, if they got a ticket every time they parked illegally, they’d stop.

Thestar.com reports there are highly-abused several spots in one Toronto neighborhood. If I were parking enforcement there, I’d stake out those spots for a few weeks and hand out tickets on the hour if needed. After that, word of mouth will do a lot of the work for you.

Read the article here.

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John Van Horn

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