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Huntsville Council agrees to increase fire route parking fine to $250
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Huntsville Council agrees to increase fire route parking fine to $250

Posted: 2024-05-29 07:17:52 By: thebay

Huntsville Council agreed to increase the fire route parking fine to $250, in the May 27, 2024, meeting.

Councillor, Monty Clouthier, expressed concern about these spaces reserved for emergencies being used for general use and people not abiding by the parking laws.

He outlined the seriousness of a potential situation where fire trucks or ambulances couldn’t help people because a car is blocking their way of reaching people in need, such as someone having a heart attack, and the risk of costing somebody’s life or having a building burning down as a result.

He proposed the fine be increased to $250 for parking in a fire zone, and that the fire route sign indicate both the fine and towing.

He added, “I think it’s something we have to do, just ease of mind of ourselves as a Council, as a Town.”

By-law Officer, Corey Crewson, informed Council that upon investigating other municipalities within and south of Muskoka, fire route charges range from $150 to $250. For instance, Muskoka Lakes and Georgian Bay charge $150, however, further south, such as Toronto and Mississauga charge the higher range.

Councillor, Cory Clarke, inquired about whether the By-law department will be able to enforce it. He added, “Fines are fantastic, but really it comes down to being able to enforce it.”

Crewson advised that they have the staff to enforce it and monitor problem areas, such as Dara Howell Way.

Councillor, Helena Renwick, referred to the Town’s tickets being at 46 in 2023. She suggested that the new fee is too high, indicating “we already have a $100 fine.”

She added, “Changing it to $250 is penalizing people even stronger if they’re there because they can’t find a parking spot.” She said people park for short spurts... “We’re penalizing our customers and because there is no other place to park in that area.”

Clouthier, said, “It’s not a pickup and drop off area… Fire lanes can’t be drop off areas. Fire lanes are for emergency vehicles. That’s what they’re designated. That’s why they’re there. If we didn’t need them, they wouldn’t be there.”

He also referred to the 46 tickets issued by the Town and expressed that it was a large amount. “That’s a lot of people saying that they don’t care,” he said. He suggested that it is time people start to care “because if something does happen, just think about it…that we couldn’t respond because we’ve got two cars parked in the area...”

Councillor, Scott Morrison, indicated that the Fire Chief has also expressed concern about safety being an issue in these areas.

According to Councillor, Jason FitzGerald, larger municipalities, such as Toronto move the illegally parked vehicles out of the way, or they use equipment to destabilize them.

Deputy Mayor, Dan Armour, inquired about the next steps with the new fine.

Crewson advised that it will be sent to senior Justice to be approved. At this point they will consider the fine with what other municipalities are charging and can approve, deny, or change it.