One in four Surrey traffic tickets in the city will never be paid, The Leader has learned. The uncollected fines amount to about $420,000 annually.
On Monday, Surrey bylaw officials released their quarterly report on bylaw actions.
One of the highlights is the 13,579 parking enforcement tickets issued during that period. Less than half of those (5,572) have been paid, while five per cent (660) are being disputed.
A full 35 per cent are outstanding and on their way to a collection agency.
Surrey’s Manager of Bylaw Enforcement Jas Rehal said the city can expect to recover 30 per cent of those due to collection action. But it leaves a full 3,360 tickets that will remain unpaid over a four-month span – a figure Rehal says is admittedly high.
He says in a typical year, the number of unpaid tickets will range from 10,000 to 12,000.
With the average ticket being $35, it amounts to $420,000 annually.
Rehal is working with city lawyers to determine if there’s a way to collect the unpaid fines.
In Vancouver, the annual parking fine loss tops $5 million, while other cities such as Burnaby and Richmond are failing to collect similar amounts as Surrey’s.
Delta has no parking meters, so the number of tickets handed out annually is only 1,130.
Hugh Davies, Delta’s manager of property use and compliance, said the amount of tickets that go unpaid in that municipality is similar to Surrey, at about 30 per cent.
The annual loss of revenue is $38,000, Davies said.
Rehal said the problem is pretty endemic through the region.
“Most municipalities are trying to wrestle with this,” Rehal said Monday, adding he’s also liaising with other cities.
“One thing we’re looking at is changing our collection methods,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll have something wrapped up in a couple of weeks.”