Toronto, June 26: The Toronto Police Service are eyeing ways to add more technology to the city’s parking system in a way that could make it harder for drivers to avoid tickets — and close what one self-styled parking vigilante calls a “loophole.”
Rennie Johnson walks the streets of his St. Clair Village neighbourhood to blow the whistle on illegal parkers and says over the hundreds of cars he’s called in, he’s noticed a pattern when he complains to parking enforcement.
TPS officials admitted that there is an enforcement gap of sorts: a limitation because of the manual way that their officers track parked cars.
They chalk a tire by hand to prove someone hasn’t moved their car. The same officer has to chalk it and check it after three hours. And if an officer changes shifts, it’s back to square one.
Officers say they’re looking at technology that other cities have that could bridge the gap, including licence plate scanners. The scanners take pictures of a licence plate, and scan it into a database — information that any officer could access to write a ticket.
That would close the so-called loophole — but there aren’t any timelines yet. It’s part of a larger examination of new technology that Supt. Scott Baptist says could be as transformative as the adoption of the GreenP app to pay for parking.
He pointed to the options that a large-scale digital mapping of Toronto streets could produce: drivers paying for the opportunity to park in non-metered areas and avoiding tickets, while digitally tracking it in such a way that residents would be much less likely to be affected — though warned there are no hard decisions made yet.