A DRIVER has fought a parking ticket because he felt it didn’t deserve to be issued.
The Toronto driver felt the city’s administrative penalty system for traffic disputes was not fair.
Myles Loosley-Millman raised concerns about the ticket, which he thought was fake for several months, to no avail, local news outlet CTV News reported.
As the news team discovered, there was a vandalized “No Parking” sign that prompted park officials to begin issuing parking tickets in the area where parking had been permitted for years.
After the team of reporters investigated the situation, the city finally issued a no-parking notice, revoked his $100 ticket and repaired the sign.
“I collected a ton of evidence, checked city regulations, took measurements, submitted pictures and did everything I could to do more,” Loosley-Millman said.
“I thought, ‘This is a slam dunk, this should be fixed immediately,’ but that didn’t happen.”
After a months-long, arduous process, he said he was disappointed.
“I found out that no one plays a role in this tribunal. You were essentially guilty if you were there.”
He was parked in his usual spot outside the Swansea Community Recreation Center in November when Loosley-Millman said the nightmare began when he found a ticket on his dashboard.
“I went swimming and came back and saw that every single car had been ticketed,” the driver said.
“I thought, this can’t be right,” he said.
The ticket showed a no-parking sign pointing in the opposite direction – but there were also signs right next to it that allowed parking in the same direction.
City regulations specify where each no-parking sign goes in Toronto.
The rules show a situation where the no-parking sign that caused a ticket for Loosley-Millman should be facing the other way, according to CTV News.
In his case, there was even a sticker placed over the part of the sign that might simply have been in the wrong place.
The driver said he made these arguments before the administrative criminal court, but he was not heard.
The hearing officer reduced the fee for his citation to $65 but did not cancel the ticket.
Furthermore, the sign remained that way for many months.
When it comes to appeals in Toronto, about five years ago the city dealt with a backlog of hundreds of thousands of parking appeals in court by handling everything in-house.
Switching to an administrative criminal court saved about $2.8 million annually, allowing hearing officers to handle appeals instead of judges.
The system could be faster and cheaper, Mark Breslow, a paralegal who primarily deals with traffic tickets, told CTV News.
Without legal protection, it could also be much less fair, he explained.
“Once they have you, they have you,” Breslow said.
He explained that a finding that someone is guilty of a no-parking zone in a zone where there is no no-parking order is something that a court must punish – especially if there is no appeal.
“How can you convict someone of a crime that doesn’t exist and then have no way to start doing it?” he asked.