Those who break traffic bylaws in Battleford may feel their wallets get lighter with the introduction of increased fines to the existing traffic bylaws.
At town council on Monday Sept. 10, council members approved the increase in fines for traffic bylaw infractions. The town recently received numerous complaints from residents about bylaw infractions but enforcing the bylaws until now was challenging because of ineffective fines, which were last updated in 1985.
Chief Administrative Officer John Enns-Wind said the fines aren’t in place to create revenue for the town, but staff still wanted fines with “teeth”.
“It doesn’t even cover our costs, a $5 fine,” he said. “Drive over, whip out the ticket book, write a ticket, walk away and then wait for them to come in and pay it. Five dollars doesn’t even cover that.”
The new fines went up exponentially from where they were prior, in some cases 10 times as much.
Under the previous fines, the most a person would have to pay for having a vehicle or vehicle combination like a fifth wheel or boat longer than six feet on the street for over a hour would be $50. Under the newly approved fines, it is $500.
According to Enns-Wind, when it comes to bylaw enforcement there are three steps the town administration wants to take. The first is to inform people of the bylaws and give a warning, the second is to educate why the bylaw is in place and the third step is the fine.
“We want a great community that’s healthy, that’s safe, where nobody’s in jeopardy and that’s the goal and the outcome. The goal is not to fill up our coffers,” he said.
The plan is for these new fines to be interim measures with the intention of the new council to review and amend the bylaws as needed.
“In a new year we’ll bring a new year traffic bylaw to council that is more current and reflective of concerns of 2017 rather than 1985,” Enns-Wind said.
Matt Kelly is battlefordsNOW's town municipal affairs and community reporter. He can be reached at [email protected] or tweet him @mattjkelly2.
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