January 6, 2009

City admits mistake in towing parked cars

Canada's capital city, Ottawa, has admitted it was overzealous in ticketing and towing parked cars and says it will drop the tickets and towing charges.

There was an uproar Monday when trucks towed nine vehicles and issued tickets to others parked in a bus lane on a street motorists said they've been parking on since a transit strike shut down bus service a month ago.

The city issued a news release announcing stricter parking enforcement in the area Friday, but clearly, few drivers heard about it, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Because of the transit shutdown, many more cars are in the city and parking is at a premium. Soon after the towing began, Susan Jones, general manager of emergency and protective services for the city, said complaints began coming in that signs on the street didn't indicate no parking.

As a result, she ordered the $80 parking tickets canceled and said the city would cover the $75 towing and impound fees.

Unfortunately ... the signage wasn't that clear in terms of whether people were allowed to be parking there, she told the CBC.