Toronto tow policy to target out-of-towners

Toronto, Ontario — January 26, 2015 — Toronto Mayor John Tory is zeroing in on out-of-province parking offenders as part of the second phase of his plan to tackle traffic congestion. Tory announced Monday that drivers with out-of-province plates would be treated to the same towing policy as Ontarians come February. The city’s previous approach of hauling vehicles away once drivers had accumulated three or more unpaid parking tickets didn’t apply to motorists visiting from out of province, who could be ticketed and have their license plate tracked, but not uploaded to a central database accessible to parking enforcement personnel. This loophole allowed habitual violators to bypass payment by heading home following infractions. “These vehicles have been willfully flouting our laws and selfishly blocking traffic, but those days are over,” Tory announced January 26. “There will be no more thumbing of the nose at the laws by people with out-of-province plates because a tow truck will await them if they keep parking where they shouldn’t.” CBC reports that under the revised policy, the city will begin sharing the documented infractions committed by drivers from outside Ontario with parking enforcement officers. The city’s zero-tolerance initiative for visiting drivers living outside Ontario comes three weeks after Tory took his first steps against congestion with a similar zero-tolerance plan against local drivers of cars parked illegally in rush hour. CP24 reports that the city issues about 100,000 tickets to out-of-province drivers every year, but the majority of them go unpaid. Since Tory’s congestion crackdown began January 5, the city has towed 962 vehicles and has issued more than 5,800 to other vehicles.

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