For the Christmas holidays, the City of Victoria is giving parking violators a break.
Courtesy parking tickets — green instead of the usual white — began popping up on windshields for vehicles parked at meters on Dec. 10.
“It is meant to be a pleasant surprise in the holiday spirit,” said city spokesperson Bill Eisenhauer. “Regular tickets are still issued for those that are really late back to their car; this initiative is more about giving a little bit of a longer grace period for people who may have been caught up and busy with holiday shopping.”
The initiative has run for more than 20 years, annually between Dec. 10 and Dec. 24, with between 1,000 and 1,500 courtesy tickets given out.
Eisenhauer said it would be difficult to get an accurate estimate of how much money this saves drivers, but it’s not seen as a loss of revenue by the city because it hasn’t been in the budget for more than two decades.
What is new is the added suggestion to “pay it forward and donate to a foodbank or local charity of your choice.” It’s the second year that recommendation has appeared on the tickets.
“When the public comes in to pay parking tickets, they often say, ‘I’d rather donate to charity.’ Well, this is their chance!” Eisenhauer said.
The courtesy tickets are only given out at meter parking, and not in parkades. All on-street meters and city parkades will offer free parking on Dec. 23, 25, 26, 31 and Jan. 1.
With files from Keri Coles.