(Black Press file photo)

Rossland introduces new traffic bylaw

Right now it costs more money to write a ticket than the city gets from the fine, says a councillor

Parking illegally in Rossland is soon going to cost you more than a coffee and muffin at the local coffee shop.

City council gave first reading to a new traffic and highways bylaw at its last meeting. It’s the first update of the law in nearly 20 years.

“It’s been due to happen for quite a long time,” says councillor Chris Bowman.

Right now being a driving scofflaw is relatively cheap. Parking over the time limit, blocking a fire hydrant, loading zone, or a bus stop, only carries a $7 fine.

And that’s reduced to $5 if you pay early.

“It costs more money to write the ticket than we’ll get from the fine,” says Bowman, who chaired the last council meeting as acting mayor.

Indeed, the staff report to council says that so far this year, the city has issued fines totalling $245. Only $60 of that has been collected.

“The philosophy of bylaw enforcement in most jurisdictions is to educate and gain voluntary compliance,” the city report states. “Notwithstanding this philosophy, there are situations that necessitate a firmer response or a next step after education and voluntary compliance does not result in the desired outcome.

“Voluntary compliance is also cost-effective, but it is important to take a firmer position when necessary or over time local government’s bylaws will lose credibility and buy-in.”

“We try to get people to not do things out of the goodness of their heart, but sometimes we have to have a little more teeth to enforce safety and things like that,” summarizes Bowman.

The new bylaw updates, clarifies, and modernizes the city’s traffic rules, cleaning up technical and legal language.

And boosting fines. Big time.

Parking in a loading zone will cost $100, $50 if paid early. Parking in a disabled parking spot is $200, half that if paid early. Simple parking infractions will cost $50, and if you pay early $25.

While the city steps up penalties, it could also face higher costs enforcing them. Staff say they’ll monitor that situation.

“Workloads associated with enforcement, program set‐up, follow‐up, processing tickets and disputes will most likely increase,” says the staff summary.

“Any increase to workloads and/or costs associated to public education, updating ticket inventory, enforcement, ticket processing and dispute resolution will be built into existing workloads and assessed at a future date in order to assess resources required.”

Despite the heftier fines, staff say they don’t expect fines to become a major source of city revenue.

The bylaw will also look at standardizing and reducing some speed limits, says Bowman.

The standard speed limit in the city will be 30 km/h. In school zones, alleys and construction zones it will be 20 km/h. It will also be 20 km/h on streets congested by parking and approaches to corners on streets where children walk to school.

The new bylaw passed first reading. Council will discuss it at future meetings, with an eye to passing the new bylaw in November.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Severe storm warning remains in effect for the Kootenays

Two special weather statements have been issued for the West Kootenay

Update: Suspect in Montrose gas station stabbing new to the area

Police say the 30-year-old suspect stabbed a Montrose gas station employee

Trail family rallies for Ronald McDonald House

“We always described it as our oasis in the middle of the desert.”

Powerful thunderstorms called for the West Kootenay this weekend

Environment Canada issued a special weather statement Thursday afternoon.

RDKB launches survey to address housing needs in the district

Communities in the district include Trail, Grand Forks, Rossland and Fruitvale

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read