Windsor man fined $440 for parking in accessible spot while renewing parking permit
A Windsor man has been ticketed more than $400 for not having his accessible parking permit on display inside his vehicle — but the 68-year-old says he was asked to take his permit out of his car for renewal purposes and is now disputing the fine.
Jaroslaw Baczkowski says he went to the Service Ontario office at 400 City Hall Square East to get his accessible parking permit renewed on Thursday. Before entering the building, he parked his vehicle in the nearby accessible parking spot.
Baczkowski said he receives disability assistance from the government and has had the permit for 26 years.
According to Baczkowski, previous renewals would see a clerk renew his parking permit through a computer system, without needing the actual permit itself.
But, he said, that didn’t happen Thursday.
“The clerk told me to bring [my] original. I told her it’s in the car. But she said, ‘That’s okay. Bring the original because I need a copy of it.’ So I went downstairs, took out the permit from my car and went back upstairs,” Baczkowski recalled.
Baczkowski said the renewal process ended after about 15 minutes. When he walked back to his vehicle, he noticed a parking enforcement officer giving him a ticket.
“He said, ‘You’re parking without a permit on display. I explained him what happened but he didn’t even want to listen. [He said] ‘You have a ticket already printed,'” said Baczkowski.
The ticket penalty is $440.
Bill Kralovensky, parking services coordinator for the City of Windsor, says drivers who have an accessibility permit need to ensure it is displayed at all times while parked inside an accessibility spot.
In response to Baczkowski’s case, Kralovensky said the office clerk should never have told the 68-year-old to take his permit out of his vehicle without making clear that his car could not stay in the same parking spot.
The correct course of action, Kralovensky added, was for Baczkowski to immediately move his vehicle to a permit-free parking spot before going back into the Service Ontario office with his accessibility parking permit in hand.
“So in that one time where this gentleman needed to go get it, he should have parked in the normal parking spot,” said Kralovensky.
On the same day the ticket was issued, Baczkowski filed a dispute with the city’s Public Works office on McDougall Avenue. He said the ordeal has left him “angry” and unable to sleep peacefully at night.
“It’s hunting on innocent people,” said Baczkowski, adding he’s not sure what options he has left if the ticket is not overturned.
“I have retired [benefits of] $192 a month. So how can I pay this ticket?”