Nick Kirmse, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, May 5, 2018 12:15PM EDT
Bylaw officers in Ottawa are cracking down after a sharp spike in the number of cases of drivers misusing accessible parking permits in the city.
So far in 2018, officers have issued more than 380 tickets for parking in an accessible spot without a permit or while misusing one. Misuse of a permit includes forged permits, drivers using a permit issued to someone else, or using a permit that has expired.
The penalty for incorrectly using a permit can be costly, with a $450 fine for parking in an accessible spot without a permit and a fine of up to $5,000 for misusing a permit.
Once the offence is discovered, the permits are seized by bylaw officers and the permit holder must visit the Ottawa By-law & Regulatory Services headquarters to retrieve it. Since April 1, they have seized approximately 30 permits.
Bylaw officers contact the Ministry of Transportation once permits are seized and tell them the permit was misused, according to Alison Sandor, a public information officer for Ottawa By-law and Regulatory Services, said.
“It’s up to the ministry to decide whether they’re going to revoke the permit or once it’s expired they’re not going to offer you a new one.” Kandor told CTV News Ottawa.
Ottawa Bylaw says that the crackdown isn’t about collecting revenue, but ensuring accessibility for drivers who actually need them.
“They’re taking a spot from someone who really deserves that spot,” parking enforcement officer Ahed Khalil said.
With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Katie Griffin