Meter Maid

Meter Maid

Meter-Made

Toronto, ON

Female, 30

I currently work as a Parking Enforcement Officer in the wonderful city of Toronto. I am feared, and loathed by all. I may not work in your particular city, but I'm positive that I can help give you a better understanding of what Meter Maids do. I am knowledgeable in all parking matters so ask me anything.

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103 Questions

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Last Answer on September 05, 2013

Best Rated

I've heard that in some countries, the fines for parking and traffic violations vary based on the person's income. Do you think this policy makes more sense than the conventional flat-fee penalties?

Asked by Big Finn about 5 years ago

I think it would make more sense to base the price of fines on a person's level of income, simply because a $30 dollar ticket doesn't mean much to a person making a six figure salary. It may, however, deter a single parent making 20,000 a year from parking illegally in the future. In order to deter people from parking illegally (or any other traffic violation), people have to be hit where it hurts the most (their wallets). I really don't know if this would ever be implemented in Toronto, but it's theoretically a good idea.

You said, "This is why you have the right to take your ticket to court." While technically true, any busy person probably can't spend a day dealing with the court system to contest a $50 ticket. So as a practical matter, we as drivers are forced to pay it, even in instances where it's not justified. Why can't we just contest it by submitting a brief explanation and accompanying photos online?

Asked by Argh-onaut about 5 years ago

To date there is only an online dispute process for tickets received in metered areas. This is because meters and pay machines are often out of service etc. In the City of Toronto, you can take your chances with a First Appearance Facility, (which are the locations listed on the back of your ticket, which you go to set your court date). There have been instances where they take back tickets, but they are more than likely going to tell you to set a court date. I understand it's a nuisance to take your ticket to court and take time off work etc, but you also have the right to send someone on your behalf. You don't have to go personally. If you are going to plead not guilty and go through with a trial, the person can't obviously testify you. The only thing a representative can do for you is ask for an adjournment for another day you can personally attend, or to plead guilty on your behalf. Prosecutors will tell you that parking violations are absolute liability offences, and that if your car was there (regardless of if you found the signs confusing,) you are guilty. If you plead guilty they often let you give an explanation that will go toward lessening the fine. I agree that there should be a system in place for people to deal with parking tickets more efficiently, even electronically. Unfortunately I don`t make up the rules. If you want to be able to dispute things online you should complain to your city councilors as we haven`t personally put these rules in place. We are there to enforce the bylaws, and to attend court when summoned.

What's the meanest thing anyone's ever said to you?

Asked by porks2 about 5 years ago

The meanest thing anyone's ever said to me? That's a tough call. There are some things that I shouldn't even post on the internet. People say a lot of awful things to me, but one particular incident sent chills down my spine. I was ticketing down a busy street in Toronto on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon when a pedestrian that was walking by me stopped, went out of his way and asked "Why are you ticketing people on weekends? Way to ruin someones day. You should be shot for that." This man didn't even have a car parked near me. I didn't even pay him any attention, but he chose to confront me about ticketing other peoples cars. It was shocking to say the least, but it wasn't just what he said, it's how he said it. I almost believed he would come back and show me how serious he was.

Is it true that once a meter maid has written a ticket, he can't take it back no matter how much a person pleads?

Asked by Don70 about 5 years ago

Like I mentioned before, I can only speak on behalf of the system in Toronto. If the ticket has not been served to the vehicle in question, the officer has discretion in whether or not they wish to serve the parking infraction notice. With that said, it is also legally served if it is handed to you. Some of my coworkers choose to be more aggressive but the majority of us will be nice enough to not serve it and let you carry on with your day. Just a word to the wise: dashing into your car and driving away, or not acknowledging a parking enforcement officer will more than likely result in them serving the ticket. Be respectful to us and we will be nice in return (that's my motto at least).

Let's say you're just starting to write me a ticket as I run back to my car. What's the best thing I can do to persuade you not to ticket me?

Asked by tom_singletary about 5 years ago

Like I mentioned before, if I haven't served the ticket to your car I more than likely will let you go (unless you have parked outrageously). There's not a specific thing you can say to me that will make me want to take the ticket back for you, but it always helps when you are respectful. Also, if you have a valid excuse like running someone into the emergency room at the hospital etc., the chances of you avoiding a ticket are good. I also appreciate it when people admit their guilt instead of focusing on how I have somehow wronged them. It is also important to note that it is up to the individual officers discretion to take a ticket back or not. What works for one parking officer may not work for another.

Was there ever a time where someone begged you not to write them a ticket and you did anyway, but later you felt really guilty about it? Like maybe you realized they had a valid point?

Asked by jaaaaaake almost 5 years ago

We all have things to do and places to be, and I understand how difficult it can be to find a parking spot sometimes. I also have a job to do, and if someone is late, or has parked illegally to run in to a store for "a minute" I have to ticket them. I feel bad for issuing tickets to people on a regular basis. This is especially true when I have ticketed an elderly person or a young mother who is trying to juggle three kids while running back to her car. I have also had instances where disabled people have parked in a rush hour route and I have towed, or almost towed their car away. I still have a job to do whether or not I feel bad for people. I have to try to stay objective, and not let my conscience get in the way.

Are some parking enforcement officers vindictive or spiteful when deciding who to ticket? For example, are they more likely to ticket a Ferrari than a Civic?

Asked by CID about 5 years ago

I'm sure that there is a parking officer out there that works that way, but for the majority of us we don't see the make or model of a car, we just see a parking violation. Anything with a license plate is fine to tag by my standards. I will admit, however, that I don't feel as bad ticketing a higher end car because I know these individuals have more disposable income than those driving lower end cars.