There's bad news for SooToday readers who ignore parking meters and signs because our tickets are so cheap.
Someone in the city's legal department recently noticed it's been three decades since local parking fines were last increased.
"Our parking fees are lesser by an average of 50 per cent in comparison to municipalities of like size and structure," says Jeffrey King, city prosecutor, in a report to Mayor Provenzano and city councillors.
On Monday, City Council will be asked to swank up the set fine on the Sault's $10 expired-meter tickets to $25.
The comparable set fine is $30 in North Bay, $20 in Thunder Bay, $12 in Timmins and $25 in Sudbury.
"It is important to note that many of these fines have not received periodic increases to stay in line with cost of living and general affordability," says King.
"The last amendment to these fines was set in 1984 and 1989."
Other requested fine hikes to be considered by City Council on Monday:
- parking in a signed prohibited area will be $35 (compared to $15 now)
- parking in a fire route will cost $60 (up from $25 now)
- illegally occupying a handicapped parking spot will set you back $350 ($300 now)
- parking on private property - $30 (doubled from $15)
- parking in excess of posted time limit - $35 ($10 now)
- overnight parking in winter - $50 ($15 now)
King says the increases are needed to ensure a balance between the seriousness of the offence and deterrence provided by the fine.
Councillors will also be asked to provide an appropriate discount when tickets are paid within seven days.
For example, a $50 set fine for overnight winter parking would be payable for $45 within seven days.
King hopes the early voluntary payment option will reduce collection costs and the need for prosecutions.
Monday's City Council meeting will be livestreamed on SooToday starting at 4:30 p.m.