Councillor wants higher fines for traffic disruption

A city councillor wants higher fines for drivers who block roads without permission or during peak traffic times.

Last year, the province started issuing $1,000 fines for such infractions, but the city still issues $500 fines.

Councillor Steve Desroches wants to raise it, but the extra vigilance won't just affect construction companies.

Desroches says minor fender benders and stalled cars should be dealt with more efficiently, too.

"If you have a stalled car there during peak hours, or if it's on the Hunt Club bridge that car needs to be moved right away," Desroches said. "I don't think we should leave it to the owner to call their relative to come and get them ... to get the vehicle out of there."

The councillor said he wants a more effective policy in place ahead of LRT construction throughout the city.

Abe Nafar is the director of Ottawa Commercial Contractors, that's currently working on a job at Albert and Bank streets. While Nafar says he doesn't want his company to create traffic problems — last month one of his employees racked up $1,800 in parking fines — sometimes it's the cost of doing business.

"I don't like paying those tickets, however, the cost of paying those tickets for us and getting our job done, sometimes it'll work out in our benefit," said Nafar. "Rather than having to park four blocks down the road, having to get another vehicle to transfer equipment ... that's the biggest part where you start seeing construction costs going up."

Nafar said he would rather the city work with contractors to find a better solution that works for everyone. Desroches said contractors should be me more considerate of commuters.

"(Contractors) agree to traffic management plans and they should respect them," he said. "During peak hours, I think they need to be thinking about the hundreds, if not thousands of people who are affected by their disruptions."

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