Double-amputee Steve Simonar frustrated with parking tickets
City says parking permit wasn't displayed
A double-amputee in Saskatoon says he continues to receive parking tickets despite having a permit to park without plugging his meter.
Steve Simonar lost both his arms in a boating accident almost 30 years ago. He drives a vehicle that has been modified so he can drive with his feet. He's physically unable to put coins into a parking meter and was given a special permit by the city last year.
However, since then, he's received five parking tickets. Simonar believes parking attendants aren't paying enough attention.
"They look at the meter and then go around the back and give you a ticket. They don't look at nothin'," he said. "I can't believe it. When they put the ticket on the windshield, (the permit) is only two feet from your hand."
He's disappointed he keeps receiving tickets.
"Well, it's just ridiculous," he said "It's just something that shouldn't happen. And if it's happening to me, it's happening to other people too, I imagine."
Simonar isn't taking the news lying down. He's fighting his latest ticket in court, even though the city had originally told him the tickets would be dismissed.
"Who's going to pay me wages every time I have to go to court for two hours?" he said. "It's a waste of time, not only for me, but for everybody else."
Meanwhile, the City of Saskatoon says its employees did nothing wrong.
The permit program allows certain disabled people to park at meters for free, as long as the large blue placard is prominently displayed, something the city says didn't happen in this case.
"If the meter is expired, the next thing they do is look for a pass like that," says Jeff Jorgenson, Manager of Utility Services for the City of Saskatoon. "If they see it in the window, they just move on to the next vehicle. If they don't see it in the window, then they would issue the ticket."
However, Simonar says the pass has always been hanging on his rear view mirror, and hasn't moved.
"It doesn't go any place else but right there," he said. "Can't move."
The City has already dismissed three of the five tickets. Simonar will be challenging his latest parking ticket later this month.
This isn't the first time Simonar has fought the system. Last year, police issued a $175 seatbelt infraction ticket during a traffic blitz.
Since Simonar doesn't have arms, he can't fasten seatbelts on his own and carries a doctor's note explaining the situation.
He challenged that ticket in court last year and won.