Regional Council

Parking fines in Halifax could double

Daily parking can be more expensive than a parking ticket. HRM wants to change that.

Drivers could soon pay twice as much for parking tickets, if the province follows the wishes of municipal politicians.

Halifax regional council voted Tuesday to ask the provincial government to double most parking fines.

The change would increase fines for 41 different parking violations. The smallest fine would increase from $25 to $50 and include parking in loading zones, bus stops and in front of fire hydrants. The most expensive would increase from $100 to $200 and includes fines for blocking fire lanes and accessible parking spaces. Others, like obstructing snow removal, would increase from $50 to 100, while a ticket for an expired meter wouldn’t change.

Several councillors said areas surrounding universities and hospitals have a serious problem with illegal parking. They said this is because daily parking is more expensive than a parking ticket.

Coun. Waye Mason described the fines surrounding universities as “inconsequential” and said the proposed increases are “a very important change.”

Compared to the rest of Canada, Halifax’s fines are low. One study of 15 municipalities found Halifax’s fines are less than half the average.

Mayor Mike Savage will ask the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal to amend the Summary Offence Ticket Regulations to increase fines. If the proposal goes through, it also will change parking fines across the province.

Halifax earned $3.9 million in parking fine revenues in each of the last three years, according to a report prepared by municipal staff. If the increases are approved, current revenues could go up by 50 to 60 per cent.

A report detailing the fines and their proposed changes is available at the Halifax municipal government website.

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