Toronto, Ontario — January 1, 2015 — Toronto Mayor John Tory’s new tow policy to help tackle traffic congestion across the city is set to take effect next week.
The first part of a six-point plan, the policy aims to penalize vehicles blocking lanes on major streets during rush hour. Effective January 5, the city and Toronto Police are taking a no-tolerance approach to ticketing and towing the cars and trucks of residents committing these violations.
“I want there to be no confusion about this, park in those places on the major routes after the education period, you will be towed,” Tory told reporters at an early December press conference at they city’s Traffic Management Centre. “If I have to chip in and drive a tow truck myself, those vehicles are going to be towed away.”
Following the announcement of the policy, authorities warned Torontonians of the amped up approach through a public campaign.
When asked about the anticipated backlash, Tory told The Toronto Sun that he knows people don’t like getting ticketed or having their vehicles towed, but the city’s parking laws need to be taken seriously.
“We’re not going to let you make a mockery of it anymore by deciding you’re going to go in and get a coffee [and] that’s OK while you put your four-way flashers on to screw up the lives of 300 people behind you,” he says, adding that with traffic moving more smoothly, there will be happier drivers on the roads.
“If those few people have to be mad at me because I told them they had to follow the law, I’m happy to have them mad,” he says.
Tory’s plan also includes the launch of a multi-organization traffic enforcement team, the installation of 40 new traffic cameras on arterial roads as well as accelerating the Traffic Signal Retiming Program by adding 100 more intersections throughout 2015.