Dear Urban Diplomat: should I call the cops on my neighbour, the parking-permit cheat?

Dear Urban Diplomat: should I call the cops on my neighbour, the parking-permit cheat?

Dear Urban Diplomat: Parking Narc (Image: Lynn Kelley Author/Flickr)
 

Dear Urban Diplomat,
Two doors down from our semi, there’s an older—but able-bodied!—man who runs a contracting business with his two able-bodied adult sons. Their vehicles all have accessibility parking permits, which allow them to park on either side of the street, regardless of which side is “on” that month. I suspect pass-related fraud. Should I tell someone?

—Parking Narc, Bloorcourt

A family of disabled contractors does indeed sound suspect, but can you be sure they’re breaking the rules? According to the permit office, certain lung and heart conditions, invisible to the casual observer, qualify people for the parking pass. Ultimately, you just don’t know. If you must do something, call parking enforcement, which investigates roughly 2,000 such cases each year. In 2014, they nabbed 600 offenders, who were charged under the Highway Traffic Act and fined anywhere from $300 to $5,000. No, enforcement won’t reveal their tipster, even if asked. Should that approach fail, look on the bright side of their sleazebag scam: technically, they’re creating more parking for you by using the other side of the street.

Send your questions to the Urban Diplomat at urbandiplomat@torontolife.com