Highway parking tickets at popular Island stops hit snag

The OPP is investigating damage done to one sign and the removal of another warning motorists of “no stopping-tow away zone” in Kagawong recently.

GORE BAY – While the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) announced a move to issue tickets to those vehicles parked along the shoulders of Island highways at popular tourist attractions such as Bridal Veil and the Cup and Saucer Trail, the plan ran into some logistical roadblocks when it came to filing the fines.

Prior to that announcement, the OPP had maintained that they could not issue tickets without the driver being present. Although the OPP began issuing tickets, it seems those tickets lacking a driver’s name held a fatal flaw. Those tickets are referred to as “part II” tickets. Part I and II tickets are relatively minor offences that are prosecuted under the Provincial Offences Act (POA) and can be settled out of court by payment of the amount written on the offence notice (ticket).

Former POA manager Annette Clarke informed municipal representatives at a POA management meeting that those tickets could not be entered into the system by the POA office staff without that information. “If the ticket is not completed properly, the POA office has no way to file the ticket in the system,” she said.

The matter has been brought to the attention of the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG), but since COVID-19 preparedness has taken priority at all levels of government, Ms. Clarke’s contact at the ministry has not been available to send out the required information. The contact at MAG was sending information to the legal department to “get something in writing” to confirm that it is the OPP’s responsibility to have all of the information required on a ticket to ensure its completeness when filing with the POA office.

While Ms. Clarke has now retired from the POA manager position, she has assured the POA committee that she would be handing over all of the information required to follow up with the matter to her successor, Pam Fogal.