Halifax's overnight parking ban in the urban core will be lifted at one minute to midnight Friday.

This is the third year in a row the ban has been lifted earlier than expected because of the mild weather forecast for the weekend and next week.

The overnight ban went into effect on Dec.15, 2010, and was scheduled to stay in place until March 31. But it can be lifted earlier by the HRM Traffic Authority if weather permits.

"We appreciate the public's attention to the ban which has been reflected in the number of tickets that were issued this year versus 2009-10," Traffic Authority Ken Reashor said in a press release Friday.

"We understand that there are frustrations with the ban, but the rules always come down to ensuring our streets are well-cleared and safe for our citizens."

Under the ban, violators faced a $50 fine, which would increase to $82.96 if it is not paid within 60 days. If cars are towed, owners are responsible for those costs.

Motorists should still beware because Section 139 of the province's Motor Vehicle Act provides that parked vehicles obstructing snow removal operations at any time throughout the year may be towed.

There was a continued decline in the number of tickets issued to drivers this year for violating the ban, Reashor said in the release.

So far, 7,637 tickets have been issued to drivers, compared with 10,753 written over the same period last year. During the same period in 2008-09, 18,038 tickets were issued.