Vernon might stop enforcing contentious commercial vehicle bylaw | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon might stop enforcing contentious commercial vehicle bylaw

City of Vernon Parking ticket
Image Credit: FILE PHOTO
November 25, 2016 - 2:30 PM

VERNON - The City of Vernon may loosen up on a policy that forces people with business vehicles to shell out for special decals.

The commercial vehicle licensing program, which editor Marshall Jones outlined earlier this month, obliges drivers of commercial vehicles to pay annual fees of $25 to $40 depending on the weight of the vehicle. After you pay the fee, you get a little yellow decal to display on your vehicle. Getting caught without a decal leads to a $35 fine — $50 if you don’t pay it after 28 days.

The policy is up for review at Monday’s city council meeting, with staff recommending the program stop being enforced, except in certain commercial loading areas.

“Recently, there has been some concern expressed regarding the city’s Commercial Vehicle Licensing Program,” protective services manager Clint Kanester says in a written report to council.

Kanester goes on to say the commercial vehicle licensing program has been in place in B.C. since the early 1960s, with revenues directed at municipal road maintenance. More than 100 municipalities across the province participate, and once purchased, decals are valid across all of them. Vernon gets roughly $12,000 per year through the program.

Each municipality sets their own levels of enforcement. Over the past decade, Vernon has issued roughly 180 fines a year for non-compliant vehicles, equating to about $1,645 a year in ticket revenue.

“While the program can be a benefit to some businesses that conduct deliveries in the downtown core, it provides no benefit to the majority of the vehicles that are required to obtain a licence and is strictly a fee on commercial vehicles using city roadways,” Kanester says.

He says there is ‘relatively little benefit’ to the city through ticket revenues, and noted lack of enforcement by all communities may cause the program to be cancelled altogether.

Kanester’s recommending the city continue to participate in the program through the sale of decals, but stop enforcing the policy everywhere but in commercial lanes or loading zones, or when vehicles are found actively loading or unloading.

Council will review the recommendation at a meeting Monday, Nov. 28.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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