Does a frozen parking meter mean I can park for free?
Does a frozen parking meter mean I can park for free?—Julia Kostner, The Annex
According to current laws, a broken or frozen meter doesn’t excuse non-payment. Needless to say, this bungled logic (putting the onus on drivers to find a new spot rather than the Toronto Parking Authority to fix faulty equipment) irks already irritated motorists. One exasperated driver has even threatened to sue if the city won’t waive a $30 ticket she got this winter after she was unable to find a single functioning meter on the block. (Her lawyer says a class action suit is in its early stages.)
But before phoning a lawyer, drivers in similar situations should try calling the TPA hotline (the number is posted on the sides of all meters) to report frozen or malfunctioning equipment. That way, if you do get a ticket, the TPA just might persuade the police to have it dismissed. But if you think you’ve just stumbled onto an unlimited free parking pass, think again. The city expects drivers to learn their lesson and is unlikely to buy the broken meter story more than once. On the upside, every ticket is handled on a case-by-case basis, and of the three million issued each year (worth some $80 million), over 500,000 are nixed.