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Three parking offences make up majority of tickets

Old parking meters in a storage room at Ecole Nationale d'Horlogerie in Trois Rivieres, Quebec. Toronto city staff say that more than half of the city’s 2.7-million parking tickets last year came from just three offences.

Christinne Muschi/The Globe and Mail

The City of Toronto issued 2.7-million parking tickets in 2012, and more than half of them were for the same three offences.

According to a report by city staff, the top three parking offences in Toronto last year were: parking at expired meters, parking in "no parking" zones and vehicles failing to display proper permits. These three offences made up 58.7 per cent of the total tickets issued for the year.

Expired meter offences generated the most tickets with 594,355, followed by "no parking" violations, which led to 569,783, and permit-related offences, which led to 428,462. This is the second straight year in which these three offences have been the city's most common.

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In all, these three violations combined to account for 1,592,600 of the 2,761,802 tickets the city handed out in 2012. Or, $53.5-million in potential fees.

"The numbers are typical with what any large city would experience with expired meters and general no parking," said Anthony Fabrizi, the city's manager of utility billing and parking tickets, adding that Toronto is one of few large municipalities that file parking reports like this one, which goes to city council on May 6.

Of the 1.5 million tickets issued for the three most common offences, nearly 90 per cent of them – $45.4-million's worth – occurred within the boundaries of old Toronto, or Toronto proper, which includes the city's downtown core.

"It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that there are more tickets issued at Bay and Bloor than there are in North Etobicoke," said Mr. Fabrizi. "It's just more congestion, more vehicles and more parking restrictions."

East York was the region with the fewest instances of the top three offences, racking up just more than 9,000 combined.

The overall number of tickets issued in 2012 was down slightly compared to 2011, dipping from 2,833,787 to 2,761,802. According to Mr. Fabrizi, there is no one explanation for the slight decline, however, he noted that a milder winter in 2011 likely led to more tickets being issued.

"We don't ticket vehicles when there are blizzards," he said, adding that on average, police hand out between 6,000 and 10,000 tickets per day, so a day or two with no tickets as a result of inclement weather would reduce the total significantly.

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The city collected $51.6-million in parking-ticket fees in 2012, though some of those fees were from tickets issued before 2012. According to Mr. Fabrizi, the city usually collects fees on about 80 per cent of the tickets it issues in a year.

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