Almost 1,500 cars were ticketed or towed in Halifax Regional Municipality over the weekend for violating the overnight winter parking ban.
There were 1,446 cars ticketed by HRM bylaw officers and Halifax Regional Police between Friday night and 6 a.m. Monday, with about a third being written by police.
Police also had 19 vehicles towed, and another 16 were towed at the request of bylaw officers.
Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. John MacLeod said whether cars are towed, ticketed or just plowed in depends.
“If it’s obstructing snow removal, then we’ll have to seize it,” he said.
HRM spokeswoman Brynn Budden said in an email that if a vehicle is deemed to be a possible hindrance to emergency vehicles it can also be removed.
“Staff work closely with winter operations crews to try and balance supporting snow removal efforts and giving citizens a chance to move their vehicle prior to towing,” she said.
“As a winter event becomes prolonged, more severe, or further into the winter season, staff increase supporting snow operations by towing more vehicles.”
MacLeod said police will try to reach car owners before their vehicles are towed, but if they’re unable to do so, “then unfortunately they will be seized.”
Owners will be responsible for towing and possible impound fees before they can get their vehicles back.
“It was a highly publicized event, people knew (the snowfall) was coming,” MacLeod said.
“The city advertised (the parking ban) ahead of time.
If people find their vehicle missing, they can contact either police or HRM to see if it was towed and where it is.
People can search for their vehicle through an online portal. If the vehicle is listed, they can contact the firm stated in the “Towing Company/Compound” section. To pick up the vehicle, a valid driver’s licence, the keys to the vehicle and the towing fee is required.
If a vehicle is not listed in the portal, people are asked to contact the non-emergency Halifax Regional Police line (902-490-5020). If people have questions concerning a tow, they can contact 311 or email [email protected].
Budden said that during storms that require snow clearing, it’s important for vehicles to be kept off of the road to provide crews with the space required to clear the snow from streets.
The parking ban is specifically put in place for the hours of 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. to provide crews the opportunity to do snow removal when there is less traffic. But, Budden said, residents should remember that regardless of the status of an overnight winter parking ban or whether there has been notification, under the Motor Vehicle Act vehicles can be towed at any time if they are interfering with snow-clearing operations.