Toronto tow policy shifts into gear (Updated)

Toronto, Ontario — January 6, 2015 — Close to 80 vehicles were towed and nearly 600 parking tickets were issued by the end of the first day of Toronto mayor John Tory’s crackdown on illegal parking.

Effective January 5, the new no-tolerance towing policy penalizes cars and trucks violating parking bylaws on major roads during morning and evening rush hours as part of an effort to tackle the city’s traffic congestion problems.

“People of Toronto want to get to work on time, they want to get home to their families on time; and that is what this policy is all about … it’s enforcing the law so people can get around,” Tory told the Toronto Star Monday.

Day one of the policy saw 29 vehicles towed and 70 tickets handed out between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. The evening rush hour, falling between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., saw even more action, with a tally of 47 towed vehicles and 522 issued tickets—bringing the day’s totals up to 76 and 596, respectively. Throughout the day, 37 provincial offence notices were also distributed.

Tory says he believes the amped up approach—which calls for an increased police and parking enforcement officer presence downtown—will be effective.

“If you get your truck or your car towed a couple of times, maybe just once, I think that’s enough to change behaviour,” Tory said in a CTV News report.

According to city laws, parking is not permitted on most major streets between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Violators of parking bylaws could face towing costs ranging from $200 to $250 for smaller vehicles, with delivery trucks looking at charges totaling $1,000. Drivers are fined $150 for parking in a rush-hour route.

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