Thursday April 24, 2014

Parking bylaw blitz scheduled


The City of Yorkton will be cracking down on improperly parked vehicles next week.

Anybody who has ever lived in, or even visited, a large city knows parking enforcement can be pretty brutal, but Yorktonites have traditionally enjoyed a fairly laid back approach to the issue.

Unfortunately, particularly during the winter, improperly parked vehicles can cause a lot of problems for the City’s crews and, consequently, other motorists when the streets don’t get properly cleaned or maintained, explained Phil de Vos, one Yorkton’s bylaw enforcement officers.

That is why Bylaw has designated December 16 to 20 for a residential parking blitz designed to educate the public about the regulations.

Some of the infractions officers will be targeting are vehicles parked for more than 24 hours on residential streets; vehicles parked improperly, such as on the wrong side of the street, too close to intersections, driveways or fire hydrants or too far from the curb; unattached trailers; and unregistered vehicles.

De Vos said a lot of people are unaware of the bylaws or don’t realize why they exist.

“There’s a lot of good reasons why we do what we do,” he said.

For example, parking on the wrong side of the street means when a driver leaves, they are forced to contravene the Traffic Safety Act (TSA) by driving the wrong way. If anything were to happen in those circumstances it could wind up being costly or worse.

Similarly, it is illegal to park an unregistered vehicle on the street because even moving it six inches immediately results in several TSA infractions. It also means the owner doesn’t have insurance should someone else hit it while it is stationary.

“Traffic safety has to include parking,” De Vos said.

The City also wants people to think about alternatives to parking on the street even if they aren’t violating the rules. De Vos said a lot of people park on the street even though they have a driveway. He said Bylaw understands that this might be for good reasons, such as not blocking the garage if they have another vehicle in the household. Nevertheless, he hopes the parking blitz might encourage motorists to make other arrangements.

“Maybe you have a neighbour who doesn’t have a car,” he said. “If you’re comfortable knock on the door, you know, maybe buy them a fruit basket or something, keep the driveway clean for them.”

For the five days next week, bylaw officers will be concentrating of parking and handing out warnings and tickets. The average fine is around $30. They also may tow vehicles under certain circumstances.



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