Alberni to boost parking ticket fines

Port Alberni drivers could be paying more for parking fines if all goes according to plan.

Port Alberni drivers could be paying more for parking fines if all goes according to plan.

Councillors voted to amend the city’s Traffic Regulation bylaw to increase parking fines at their March 24 meeting. They also voted to begin a public process to inform citizens about the plan.

Councillors voted to recommend that parking fines be increased to $10 if paid within 48 hours; $20 if paid after 48 hours; and $50 if paid after 10 days.

For other parking infractions, the fine will be $15 if paid within 48 hours; $25 if paid after 48 hours; and $60 if paid after 10 days.

A report from city planner Scott Smith noted that Port Alberni’s traffic fines are the lowest of any on the Island. Fines are $5 if ticket is paid within 48 hours. Other traffic fines are $10 if paid within 48 hours.

The average traffic fine from a sampling of other communities is $26, Smith said.

In comparison, based on fines paid within 30 days Comox levies the heftiest fines at $50; Parksville’s are next at $37.50; Qualicum Beach is $25 and Nanaimo’s is $22.50.

Port Alberni’s parking fine structure doesn’t exactly dissuade violators, Smith noted. “A $5 parking ticket for parking over the time limit is not a significant deterrent.”

The matter was suggested to councillors by members of the public during the budget as a source of revenue, Coun. Hira Chopra said. “If we want it higher then do it now,” he said.

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