Reduction of fine was right
Thursday, Mar 20, 2014 01:33 pm
We think City council’s decision to reduce snow removal fines was a good one. (See story on page 5).
When Sara Wilson was working on a story and called the City for an update on how many residents had been fined for not clearing their walks in late January, we were astonished to hear bylaw officers had only given out three tickets (one in December and two in January).
Anyone who walked even a short distance around local neighbourhoods this winter could attest to the fact that there were more than three people on most blocks who hadn’t properly cleared their walkways.
Many people with small children in strollers or limited mobility were not able to walk on residential streets for weeks at a time because it was simply unsafe to do so.
In some instances this led to people walking down the middle of the road because it had been cleared and sidewalks were too dangerous to walk on.
The objective of a bylaw like this is to keep residents safe - to try and avoid falls and accidents. There is no point in having a bylaw in place if it’s not going to be enforced.
If reducing the fine for not removing snow from the sidewalk in front of your house within 24 hours from $500 to $50 for first offense will ensure that those people who continually do not clear their walkway will receive a fine as punishment, so be it.
If a fine is so high, it makes bylaw officers hesitant to enforce it or will cause more costs in court fees than it is worth, it should be assessed and changed.