tp-edm-ticket-guy

Bylaw officers in Edmonton have given out a record number of tickets for parking in handicapped stalls this year. ((James Hees/CBC))

Bylaw enforcement officers in Edmonton have given out a record number of tickets this year to people parking in handicapped spots, city officials said Tuesday. 

As of the beginning of December, more than 2,600 tickets had been issued, 33 per cent more than in 2008.

"We do hear all the excuses of 'I'm only going to be five minutes,' or 'There was no other spots open,'" said Erin Blaine, parking enforcement co-ordinator for Edmonton.

"They're thinking of those excuses, but they're not thinking about how it impacts those who do need [the spaces]."

During the holiday season, the city shifts workers who would normally patrol near schools to shopping centres and grocery stores. Blaine said that could have something to do with the record number of tickets.

"I don't know if it's because we have more people in the city, or people aren't getting the message and they just don't care," she said.

Donald Anderson, who has spine and heart problems and has the handicapped sticker in his car, believes it's about time the city got tough.

"I'm telling you it is agitating," he said. "I'm seeing so many times, people without stickers parked in these places now."

The city is pondering raising the cost of the tickets, and Blaine said that can't happen too soon.

"There is a need for it to increase, because obviously $150 isn't enough for people to stop doing this."