01/28/2015 11:29 EST | Updated 03/30/2015 05:59 EDT

Parking tickets: Vancouver could tow chronic offenders, even after fines paid

The City of Vancouver is considering a plan to tow the vehicles of chronic parking offenders, regardless of whether they have paid their outstanding fines.

Vancouver's current policy is if a driver has three unpaid parking tickets — assigned to their licence plate — their vehicle will be towed if it is parked at an expired meter.

The city is in the preliminary stages of changing that policy to include tickets that have been paid, said Taryn Scollard, director of city streets.

"We're looking at potentially increasing or changing that number, regardless of whether they have paid or unpaid tickets," Scollard said.

That means if a vehicle belonging to someone the city determines to be a chronic parking offender is found parked at an expired meter, it will be towed, even if all of their fines have been paid.

The city has yet to decide how many tickets a driver would have to have accumulated to face towing.

"It could be five it could be seven over two years. We haven't yet done the analysis on what other municipalities are doing. It's really at the beginning stages of development," Scollard said.

Not about the money

Scollard insists the move is not about revenue — it's about getting people to follow the rules.

"Parking tickets are never a popular situation, but it helps change the behaviour. We are looking at compliance."

The City of Vancouver handed out 328,567 parking tickets last year, about 3,500 fewer than 2013 and 29,000 fewer than 2012.