Blocking traffic during rush hour ‘wrong, selfish and unacceptable,’ Tory says

Police to start second crackdown on illegal parking

Parking tickets received by one Toronto driver this year. (Xue Bo/Toronto Observer)

Mayor John Tory and Police Chief Mark Saunders announced Wednesday morning another crackdown on illegal parking during rush hour to begin on Oct.5.

In January, police conducted a towing blitz targeting vehicles parked illegally on major arteries during rush hours. The new blitz aims to push back on offenders still ignoring the message and parking illegally.

“Though the zero-tolerance policy continues to be enforced I have noticed and people have told me that the bad actors are once again choosing to selfishly block lanes of traffic during rush hour for their own purpose,” Tory said. “Like seatbelts, like distracted driving, like driving while impaired, it is necessary for us to continue to emphasize the fact that this is wrong, selfish and unacceptable.”

Although  the number of illegal parkers is down since the first blitz, Saunders said not all drivers have been getting the message. According to Saunders, police have tagged about 60,000 vehicles and towed about 12,000 on downtown streets during rush hour since January.

“Changing behaviour takes a long time. We’re all human beings and people get in to bad habits,” Tory said. “I am optimistic that as we keep doing this from time to time people will change their behaviour and they will stop doing what has been prohibited for a long time.”