Blue zone prosecutions get green light: minister
Government rejects St. John’s councillor's contention that parking regulations are in 'shambles'
The provincial government says blue zone parking violations are being successfully prosecuted, contrary to recent comments by a St. John’s city councillor.
"We haven’t been able to find any cases, or any issues, whereby there was a problem with the legislation," Service Newfoundland and Labrador Minister Paul Davis said Thursday.
Davis said the Department of Justice found a case from just last month that involved a successful prosecution under city bylaws concerning accessible parking regulations. That case resulted in a conviction.
"We know for a fact that these prosecutions are taking place, and are being successful in the courts," Davis said.
On Tuesday, St. John’s Coun. Gerry Colbert said the city is confused about its power to issue tickets in disabled blue zones.
"The regulations are absolutely in shambles," Colbert said.
"I have two pieces of provincial government legislation here dealing with the issue of how you ticket, how you handle, how you enforce ... and they are in conflict with each other."
He said one law requires evidence that the driver has ignored both a handicap sign and blue paint on the ground to issue a ticket, while the other piece of legislation only requires evidence of one marker.
Colbert said the confusion is leading to cases being thrown out in court and some wrongdoers not getting ticketed at all.
But that’s news to Davis. "I was surprised to hear it," he told CBC News.
He said there are three relevant pieces of legislation — two provincial, and one municipal.
Under provincial parking laws, according to Davis, only one marker — blue paint or a sign — has to be present for a ticket to be issued.
But separate building accessibility regulations require new buildings and renovated ones to put in both.
That, he suggested, may be leading to the confusion.
A third piece of legislation — a city bylaw — has different wording again. That, Davis said, may also be complicating matters for council.
Davis said he spoke with Colbert about the matter Wednesday, and planned to get back to him after more research is carried out into the issue.