Ottawa Bylaw officers bury motorists with 2,777 parking tickets during Tuesday's storm
OTTAWA -- Ottawa Bylaw officers issued hundreds of fines for violating the on-street parking ban during the biggest snowstorm of the season this week.
However, some homeowners who received a ticket for parking their vehicle on a road in order to clear the driveway claim the fine is unfair.
Before snow blowing his driveway, Stittsville resident David Sczygiel moved his two vehicles around the corner onto another street. He says they were parked for maybe 15 minutes.
On Tuesday, a winter storm blanketed the capital region with nearly 20 centimetres of snow. The city of Ottawa imposed an on-street parking ban from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to allow plows to clear the streets.
During that time, Sczygiel's thought leaving his vehicles on the road would not be a problem if he was outside, but a neighbour told him that an Ottawa Bylaw Services officer was writing him a ticket.
"I ran over to talk to the Bylaw officer as he was writing the second ticket for my truck, he had already written the ticket for the Jeep," says Sczygiel. "I had the flashers going and everything, I tried to tell the guy to touch them [the hood of the truck] that they were still warm."
Sczygiel received two, $125 fines. He says it's unfair and that street plowing had not started in his neighbourhood.
In a statement to CTV News Ottawa, Ottawa Bylaw and Regulatory Services Director Roger Chapman said while officers use their discretion, unfortunately it is not always possible to determine ownership of an unattended vehicle and whether the owner has parked for the day or just temporarily.
"During a winter weather parking ban, any vehicle that does not have an on-street parking permit that remains parked on the street is subject to receiving a ticket," said Roger Chapman. "This is the case regardless of whether the plough has passed as it is possible that a second plough run is necessary."
Ottawa Bylaw Services issued a total of 2,777 tickets across the city on Tuesday for on-street parking violations during the winter weather parking ban. The set fine for the offence is $125, with an early payment option of $105.
In Barrhaven, Joe Baker says the plow had already come by to clear the road on Tuesday, leaving a thick mound of snow and ice at the end of his driveway. Baker said that left him with no choice other than to park down the street.
"When I got home last night, I had this lovely section of snow that I can't get over," said Baker pointing to his neighbours driveway where a two foot lump of snow has not yet been cleared. "I was outside the whole time other than when I went inside to get my snow pants on and shovel."
Baker says he was outside for about 25 minutes clearing his driveway before moving his car back, that's when he noticed the ticket on the windshield.
He says that many other residents on the street were clearing snow as well and that Bylaw officers should have realized the car belonged to one of the neighbours.
"It's kind of ridiculous to get a ticket for parking on the street to clear your driveway."
Both Baker and Sczygiel have already disputed the tickets and hope that the city will understand the situation.