New License Plate Recognition Plan Gets Green Light
Prince George, B.C. – Council for the City of Prince George has given a thumbs up to the new license plate recognition plan and the changes to fines for violations under that plan.
The plan calls for some changes for both on street and off street parking to improve enforcement of the parking bylaws and bring an end to the practice of downtown workers moving vehicles from one spot to another throughout the day to avoid exceeding the allowable time limit.
The pan calls for the 6th street parking lot to become a monthly permit lot only, and that fines be boosted for parking violations from $25 to $50 for first and second offences. The fine would jump to $75 dollars for the third offense Fines for more serious safety issues such as blocking a fire hydrant or crosswalk will be boosted to $75 dollars, and those parked illegally in a parking stall that is marked for the use of the disabled would be hit with a fine of $100.
Bylaw Services Manager Fred Crittenden says that as of Friday last week, 120 violation tickets had been issued to people parked illegally in a parking stall designated for the use of the disabled.
Parking fines for the first six months of this year, saw $107 thousand dollars in fines issued, and the City has collected about 66% of that amount.
Parking stall revenue is up about $60 thousand dollars over last year, mostly a reflection of the 15% increase in fees. Crittenden says there is still capacity at the off street lots.
“This (new license plate recognition system) is by no means a money grab, it’s just a way to change attitudes and do what’s best for the businesses downtown as a whole” says Crittenden. The new hand held units can apply an “electronic chalk” to the vehicle, and the hand held unit can then be transferred to other employees without loss of the “electronic chalk mark”.
“I wish there was a magic pill to solve all of the downtown parking problems” says Crittenden “It’s about having free parking downtown because that’s what the business people want.”
As has been reported earlier on 250News, the new parking plan will see parking enforcement start at 7 a.m., and will include new pay by plate stations for parking lots at the Civic Centre, Four Seasons Pool and the Library. The Pay by Plate stations will be located inside those buildings and patrons of those sites will be allowed a maximum three hours free parking before being ticketed.
Parking in off street lots will be free from 5 pm to 7 am and on weekends.
It is expected the new system will be rolled out this fall.