Town of Smithers increasing fines

At the regular council meeting on March 25, the first three readings of a bylaw to increase traffic fines was passed.

Traffic fines are going up in the Town of Smithers.

At the regular council meeting on March 25, the first three readings of a bylaw to increase traffic fines was passed.

“The amounts currently being charged by the Town of Smithers do not offset the cost of conducting regular patrols,” said prevention and community safety officer Matt Davey in a March 18 report to councillors.

Davey said he found the base ticket amounts in northwest communities varies greatly.

Tickets in Terrace start at $100 and in Prince Rupert it’s $35.

The purpose of the bylaw, explained Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach, is to bring the fine amounts up to date. The current fine amounts were set in 1985.

“We’re in a situation now where the size of the fines don’t even really justify going out there,” Bachrach said.

“The staff report showed our fines are miniscule when compared to other communities. It’s trying to update the bylaw and modernize the fine structure.”

Under the new fee structure, tickets will start at $25, up from $10, for payment within 24 hours of receipt. If a ticket is paid within seven days, it will cost $40, up from $15.

No public hearing is required before the bylaw goes up for adoption at the April 8 council meeting.