Council can change the law

The city council should make a decision concerning the outdated law of the winter parking ban.

The parking ban in the Halifax Regional Municipality is an outdated law which should be changed. As a former police officer, I issued many overnight parking tickets when the winter ban was in effect simply because orders came from my supervisors to do so, even when the weather was free from snowstorms. When I became a supervisor I was told to continue the enforcement issue, snow or no snow.

The police are in a no-win situation because they will be damned if they do, and damned if they do not. They are paid to enforce laws and can use their discretion; however, the pressures of budget coming down from the city manager and council and the need for revenues to the city forces their hand to enforce what the law says.

City council voted to increase the fine from $25 to $50, which they did not have to do. Now a large number of councillors say they are helpless to change the law because it comes under the traffic authority---give us the revenue, but do not blame us for the law!

Council can put enough pressure on the traffic authority by voting to allow vehicles on main arteries until at least 3:30am and delegate plows to main arteries only. The day of clearing the side streets, the city can post snow-clearing signs for the time of plowing those streets when parking is not prohibited.

Council: just make a decision to change this law and it can be done. No more excuses or passing blame. —Jim Hoskins, Halifax

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