On Monday, June 3, the City of Kitchener and the City of Waterloo jointly launched an Administrative Monetary Penalty System (AMPS), making it easier and faster for residents in both cities to resolve parking tickets. The AMPS system will replace parking tickets with penalty notices, giving the municipality the discretion to resolve parking penalties by way of review by a screening officer or a hearing, without having to go through a provincial court.
“Implementing the new AMPS system is an opportunity for us to enhance the customer service experience for residents of Kitchener and Waterloo,” said Gloria MacNeil, director of by-law enforcement at the City of Kitchener. “Giving staff increased flexibility and discretion to attempt to resolve parking penalty issues in the initial stages of the process increases the number of incidents that can be resolved earlier in the process and reduces added costs or time commitments associated with going through the provincial courts.”
The new system is permitted under the Municipal Act. Kitchener residents that have been issued parking penalties can visit Kitchener’s By-law Enforcement Office at 33 Ontario St. to speak with a screening officer to reach a resolution. Penalty notice holders that disagree with a screening officer’s resolution can request to appear before a hearing officer – an independent, third party contractor, who conducts hearings for parking penalties issued in both cities.
With parking adjudication no longer subject to provincial court schedules, it is anticipated that wait times to resolve a parking matter will be reduced from eight to nine months to approximately two to three months. Hearings will take place once a month in each city, with several matters being adjudicated on each date. With all hearings, the decision made by the hearings officer will be final and binding.
“The new system will be more efficient and more user-friendly, while maintaining the fundamental principles of open court and due process,” adds Shayne Turner, director of by-law enforcement for the City of Waterloo. “In addition to being open, transparent and objective, the new process is less intimidating and will expedite the adjudication of parking penalties in both cities.”