Police say there are no free passes when it comes to HRM’s overnight winter parking ban.
Rules are rules and must be obeyed — police proclaim — no matter what the weather conditions may be when the ban is in place.

“Once the ban comes into effect, any vehicle left on the street in those overnight hours is subject to a ticket,” said Halifax Regional Police spokesman Const. Brian Palmeter.

This year’s ban starts Dec. 15 — meaning starting with the overnight hours of Dec. 14 — any vehicle left on the street in the urban core between 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. could be hit with a $50 ticket. The fine jumps to $82.96 if the ticket isn’t paid within 60 days.

Some argue the ban should change and be in effect only when there’s an actual storm. Police have a different take.

“It’s important for us to get out and make sure people have a clear message,” explained Palmeter. “And you can’t wait until the first snowfall in order to get people to get their vehicles off the road.”

Palmeter said parking enforcement commissionaires issue most of the overnight tickets, although patrol officers can, and will, as well.

HRM spokeswoman Shaune MacKinlay said bylaw enforcement officers are also involved in the ticketing process.

MacKinlay estimated two people will be contracted out as parking enforcement commissionaires to work as part of a “small staff” that will hand out the parking ban tickets this winter.