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Parking police off mark issuing fine downtown

Consider this: your visiting family member borrows your car and takes it downtown in the morning to the store to grab a few things. While it’s there, the city parking enforcement officer sees it parked and plugs your licence plate number in his hand-held computer.
The clock starts running. Thirty minutes later your house guest is back home with your car. Fast forward four hours and you take that same car back downtown to Old Quebec Street for your medical appointment. You come out after 30 minutes to a ticket on your windshield.
What happened?
While in your 30-minute medical appointment, ‘Mr. Parking Enforcement Officer’ has been diligently doing his job and sees your car again in a new spot. He punches your licence plate into the computer and it tells him you were marked somewhere else in the city much earlier in the morning. The time between the two entries of your licence plate exceeded two hours. The result is a  $30 parking ticket.
The problem is that your car wasn’t downtown for a total time of more than one hour, let alone two. It was actually at home most of the day, far from downtown.
You call the parking office to explain, and you are politely told you can “take it to court.”
So now the burden of proof falls on you, the person whose only offence was visiting downtown more than once in a single day.
Even if those two separate visits were only five minutes each, if they were more than two hours apart you risk getting a hefty ticket. You can fight it in court if you want, but will losing your day’s salary really make it worth it?
Is it fair for the city to ticket like this?
David Schmidt
Guelph

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