Would a proposed fee for fighting a parking ticket, and losing….make you not want to fight it in the first place?
Torontonians who chose to fight parking tickets, beware. It could soon cost extra if you take a ticket to court – and lose.
A civic committee is recommending the city issue a $12.75 surcharge against anyone who unsuccessfully contests a parking ticket – a tendency they suggest is far too common.
The City of Toronto issues about 2.8 million parking tickets a year, about 300,000 of which are taken to court.
A city report revealed that about 69 per cent of those who go to trial to fight a ticket are ultimately convicted, although often at a reduced penalty.
The proposed $12.75 fee would deter motorists from arguing against tickets they know are valid. City staff says drivers who fight legitimate tickets in the hopes of having them cancelled are a drain on the system.
If the officer who issued the ticket does not appear in court, the charge is dismissed. This can lead many fined motorist to set a court date and hope the officer does not appear, filling dockets with those fighting legitimate fines.
Mayor Rob Ford told CTV Toronto that he does not like the idea of a $12.75 surcharge and will be speaking to staff about alternatives.
Lawyer Peter Dotsikas says it is unfair to penalize people who have a right to have their day in court.
“I am shocked that they would be asking people to pay for their right to a trial. In effect, it is a money grab. It is trying to discourage people from having trials,” Dotsikas said.
As a taxi driver, Kamal Abdellahi says he fights about seven parking tickets each year. He says the proposed surcharge would make it difficult for him to fight to have them rescinded, regardless of how legitimate his complaint was.
“As a cab driver, sometime they give you one after another. We are trying to make a living, and it is very hard,” Abdellahi said on Wednesday.
The committee also suggested setting a fine amount that cannot be reduced by a judge.
Hmmmm….thoughts on paying an extra fee if you fight a parking ticket and lose?….Feels like they’re trying to make it less appealing to fight a parking ticket……?