You know that old adage about Toronto? The one that goes, “There are two seasons in Toronto: Winter, and Construction.”
Well I think there is a third season; one that is twelve-months long: parking tickets.
But there is a new website out there that helps us stick it to the man! Visit www.parkingtickets.to.
See this photo above?
This “Parking Officer” is writing out a ticket with a pen and paper. Ever since they got those new-and-improved hand-held devices that electronically input the data and print out a ticket, Parking Officers have probably doubled the amount of tickets they write.
I’m not a naive person by any stretch of the imagination, and I understand that the City of Toronto needs to pay its bills.
I know that the City has a budget and they need revenues to pay for their various expenditures, so I’m not surprised that they have a small army of faux-cops out on the streets writing tickets.
But that hasn’t stopped me from fighting this process for the past five years.
And you know what? It’s one of the easiest battles I’ve ever had.
Last week, I illegally parked my car on University Avenue to run in to the Ministry of Business, and when I came outside, there was a Parking Officer starting to write a ticket. I approached this young man and simply asked, “How are you?”
He put a snarly look on his face, mounted his proverbial high-horse, and responded, “Is this your car, sir?”
I told him that it was, in fact, my car, and he said, “You’re illegally parked, you know.”
I smiled and simply replied, “Yes, I’m aware. Listen – I’ve gotta run in to Business Depot for a moment. Just leave the ticket on my front windshield and I’ll grab it when I get back. Thanks!”
The man was completely bewildered. He was probably hoping that I would beg and plead with him, grovel for a few minutes, and he could feel the sweet, sweet rush of power that comes with the faux-cop uniform and the hand-held parking ticket machine that is no better than a Brother P-Touch.
But I didn’t care, and I never will.
Because in the last five years, I have received over three hundred parking tickets, and I have NEVER paid a single one.
I have a theory, and this theory is based on nothing more than my own opinion, insight, and observation:
If you book a court appointment for a parking ticket, you will never be called to court. The City of Toronto will simply accept money from those who voluntarily pay parking tickets, and they will throw out all tickets for which court appointments were requested.
How could there be any other way?
Would it really be worth the City’s time, energy, and money to bring people to court to contest a $30 ticket?
Of course not!
But they’ll never stand up and freely admit this.
Keep in mind that I’m talking about parking tickets and NOT moving violations. I do have my own way around those as well, but that’s a story for another day.
If you book a court appointment for a parking ticket, you will never be called to court.
This brings me to this fantastic new website called www.parkingtickets.to.
For a nominal sum of $10, you can input your infraction number, and the provider of this service will book a court appointment for you. There is no need to spend your lunch hour making your way down to 55 John Street and standing in line anymore. With the click of a button and a few keystrokes, your problems are solved.
I certainly wish I had thought of this idea first! This website is simply incredible!
When you think about what people spend money on these days, the cost of the service that www.parkingtickets.to provides seems like peanuts. People spend $80/hour with a personal trainer three times per week just so somebody can tell you which weights to lift. People spend $5.75 on a moccha-frappa-blappa-kappa latte at Starbucks, and quite often they buy two per day.
My personal pet peeve is standing in lines of any sort. I guess that’s why I always slip the bouncer $20 outside bars & nightclubs, but I digress…
Standing in line to book court appointments, and dealing with the frustration that comes with Parking Officers and parking tickets in general always puts me in a terrible mindset.
I have no problem spending ten bucks for www.parkingtickets.to, and anybody who has been voluntarily paying tickets all their lives had best check this service out.
The City of Toronto is counting on people who “roll over” to just pay their parking tickets, and complain as much or as little as they like. I’ve seen other articles in the newspaper or on the Internet with the same theories as mine, hypothesizing that the City has no, or never has had any intentions of calling people to court for a trivial $30-$40 matter.
Those who pay, pay.
Those who don’t, don’t.
It’s the way it’s always been, and it’s the way it will be for the foreseeable future.
In the meantime, I’ve definitely free’d up a few hours per month with the advent of www.parkingtickets.to. It’s amazing when you consider how much smarter the general public is than the government which oversees them.
Next time a Parking Officer writes you a ticket for $60, just consider that it really only costs you ten bucks to make the problem go away…