REGINA – Some residents argue parking in Regina and avoiding a ticket at the same time can feel a lot like a Tom Cruise movie: Mission Impossible.
“The tenants who give the tickets out bring their measuring tape out and measure how far the car is away from the curb,” said one Regina resident.
For others, it might come down to a simple misunderstanding.
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City of Regina to shift from parking enforcement to education
“I thought it said five o’clock but it actually said three o’clock and it was a bus lane. I was only inside for 10 minutes and the guy was standing right there and he still gave it to me,” recalled another driver.
While the perception may be that parking enforcement has become stricter, the city says that isn’t the case.
“The number of infractions are down, the level of enforcement is down as well,” said Regina Mayor Michael Fougere. “But we want to address the perception issue that we are cracking down, because we are doing quite the opposite.”
In fact, the city is forecasting $3 million in revenue in 2015, down from the $3.5 million from last year.
So far in 2015, officials say the city has collected $1,165,769 from parking ticket revenue.
In order to increase public knowledge about parking laws, the city will be reassigning four current parking enforcement officers as parking ambassadors.
The ambassadors’ job will not be to issue tickets, but to instead answer questions and hand out printed parking information.
However, more education doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore enforcement. Drivers parked illegally can still be issued a ticket, even if the city is making an effort to be more understanding when it comes to borderline infractions.
“We have an obligation to enforce our bylaws for public safety, those are very critical aspects of enforcement,” said Mayor Fougere. “We also want to show compassion and understanding and hopefully we have the right balance.”