Some parking fines rising by 300% in Sault Ste. Marie on June 1

As of June 1, parking at an expired meter will lead to a $30 ticket, up from $10. Parking on the street overnight during winter will lead to a $50 fine, up from $15, while parking in a fire route will cost violators a $60 fine, up from $25. (File)

In the first increase in more than 30 years, some parking and other fines in Sault Ste. Marie are increasing by 300 per cent, the city said Tuesday.

But anyone who pays the fine promptly will have the amount reduced by one-third, the city said in a news release.

As of June 1, parking at an expired meter will lead to a $30 ticket, up from $10. Parking on the street overnight during winter will lead to a $50 fine, up from $15, while parking in a fire route will cost violators a $60 fine, up from $25.

A full list of the new fees can be found here.

"Parking fines in Sault Ste. Marie are (lower) by an average of 50 per cent in comparison to municipalities of like size and structure, with the last fine increase occurring in 1984 and 1989," the city said in the news release.

"By increasing the rate of penalty fees, fines serve as a deterrent to illegal parking, address public safety concerns and brings the City of Sault Ste. Marie in line with other municipalities."

Parking fines are structured based on the level of public safety concerns related to the event, the city said. Expired meters are among the lower penalties and fines related to impeding traffic or safety to the public are higher.

"Although an immediate increase in fines may appear to be financially challenging for some, an early voluntary payment option, not currently part of Sault Ste. Marie’s system, will act as an incentive to have offenders make a payment within seven days of the offence," the city said.

"Paying early allows the offender to receive up to a one-third reduction in the fine amount. It will also reduce contested matters before the court and reduce collection costs."

Increased fines and an early voluntary payment program should yield a neutral effect when factoring in the desire for increased enforcement to alleviate concerns.

"The city also encourages the public to use the Passport Parking Canada mobile payment option," the release said.

"Over 1,300 users have adopted this convenient payment method since its launch in 2019. Passport Parking Canada allows drivers in Sault Ste. Marie to pay for metered street parking and city-run lots using their smartphone."