Increasing fines for changing times

Residents who leave their cars parked with the engine running could soon be facing a steep increase in fines.

On Monday, city councillors began debating a new bylaw amendment that would see residents fined $300 if they leave their car running without locking it. The fine would be reduced to $150 if paid early.

The new law is designed to help crack down on the number of car thefts in the city, which Prince Albert police say has increased this year.

“It’s something we can stop and stop quickly, so that’s why we’re going to take action,” Mayor Greg Dionne said during an interview on Tuesday. “It’s a dangerous practice.”

According to a report presented at Monday’s executive committee meeting, Police have noticed an overall trend where vehicles are stolen while unlocked and idling on the street. Between Jan. 20 and Jan. 22, a total of five such thefts occurred.

The report notes that tracking down these stolen vehicles is “taking up a significant amount of police resources each time they need to investigate a vehicle theft.”

For the rest of this story, please see the Feb. 1 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.