Parking enforcement steps up ticketing at Calgary school drop-offs

Parking enforcement steps up ticketing at Calgary school drop-offs

Parents beware: Calgary's parking enforcers have new technology to crack down on illegal school drop-offs.

Calgary Parking Authority officers now have new technology in their cars, similar to what they use to monitor street parking, that can catch illegal parking simply by driving past the vehicle in question. The technology takes a photo of the licence plate and mails a ticket to the owner.

Officers using the photo enforcement will periodically and randomly patrol Calgary schools starting this semester.

In the past, officers would have to get out of their cars and walk over to the parent's vehicle in order to hand them a school zone ticket. In many cases, the parent would have driven away by then, enforcement manager Joan Hay said.

"We've always had officers out in school zones. We're just now increasing enforcement in the school zones with photo enforcement," she told the Calgary Eyeopener..

It's a safety hazard when parents pause in no-stopping zones, by crosswalks or too close to stop signs and intersections in order to see their kids into the school, Hay said.

"The reason those rules are there is to protect the children, so somebody even stopping for a couple of minutes is impeding those zones and potentially putting other children at risk," she said.

The fine for such violations is $75 but people can shell out as little as $40 if paid early, Hay said.

Most of the requests for more ticketing have come from schools and people living nearby, she said.

With files from Danielle Nerman and the Calgary Eyeopener.