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RMWB taking closer look at parking penalties, early payment discount options

PHOTO. Supplied. Street sweeping being April 26, 2017 in the RMWB, residents are reminded to watch for parking signage.

Parking fines are under the radar of the Municipality.

RMWB Council will hear a motion on Oct. 27 from the administration on what residents pay in parking penalties in the region.

Mayor and councillors passed the following resolution, which RMWB Councillor Keith McGrath introduced on March 10, 2020.

“THAT Administration be directed to investigate and benchmark the current parking standards of other municipalities in Alberta and bring forward a report to Council identifying the appropriate value of parking penalties, including early payment discount options for parking infractions issued in contravention of the Roads and Transportation Bylaw No. 02/079.”

The RMWB may enact bylaws for parking of vehicles on public roads according to Alberta’s Traffic Safety Act and the Use of Highway and Rules of the Road Regulation.

Fines and infractions

To date, residents pay $120 in parking fines with one exception for illegally parking in a disabled stall, which is a $500 fine.

These values compare with eight other Alberta municipalities.

In its annual review, the administration said the number of tickets issued decreased year over year.

“This could be contributed to several factors including population changes, compliance with parking and our ongoing education and public information program.”

For Winter Maintenance Zones in 2020, the Municipality issued 896 violations and 110 warnings.

That’s down from the 1233 and 280 issued respectively in WMZ in 2019.

For the rest of 2020, the RMWB issued 2099 violations and 1108 warnings, with Bylaw Services issuing 1211 and 799 respectively.

This marks a decrease from 2019 when the Municipality issued 3040 violations and 1565 warnings.

The administration said current methods do not provide residents with an incentive to prompt early payment of parking fines.

“Currently the RMWB offers a $5.00 reduction if the fine is paid within seven days of the municipal tag being issued. The current $5.00 discount does not provide an incentive to our citizens for prompt and early payment.”

It recommended to RMWB Council an early payment discount of 25 per cent.

Alberta municipalities currently offer comparable rates.

The administration said Calgary offers discounts of 45 per cent if paid within 10 days and 33 per cent within 30 days.

Red Deer offers a $35.00 reduction if paid in 10 days, Airdrie $25.00 within five days, and St Albert $20.00 within seven days.

The Municipality said that would be a substantive incentive for residents to pay fines within seven days.

“This would be a $30.00 reduction on most of the parking fines and a $125.00 reduction for parking in a disabled stall.”

The RMWB said this move would be consistent throughout the Municipality.

Residents already receive a 25 per cent reduction to fines under the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw if paid within seven days.

RMWB Council will vote on the second and third reading of the motion.

Mayor and Councillors will also hear motions on a Backyard Hen pilot project, online and telephone voting, and Energy Industry Advocacy.

The next Council meeting on Oct. 27, 2020, starts at 4 p.m.