The minister responsible for Service NL says there should be no confusion about when a ticket can or cannot be issued for illegally parking in a blue zone.
Earlier this week at a St. John's city council meeting, Coun. Gerry Colbert said two conflicting pieces of provincial legislation mean city bylaw officers sometimes don't give out tickets to people improperly parked in a space meant for someone with a disability.
Colbert said tickets aren't issued unless the parking space has both a sign and blue paint marking the spot. The council meeting was also told the issue seems to be with the Crown prosecutor's office, which won't follow through on a charge unless both markings are in place.
"The regulations are absolutely in shambles," Colbert said at the time.
But provincial officials say that's not true.
"The Crown prosecutor's office, they prosecute tickets under the Highway Traffic Act or the city bylaws, so there is no issue at all that has come to the office of prosecutors at traffic court regarding the enforcibility of those tickets issued by the city," a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice told The Telegram this week.
But she said Service NL is the department that sets the rules for blue zones.
Service NL Minister Paul Davis said while there seems to be some misunderstanding at the municipal level, the law is quite clear.
"The confusion lies, I think from their part, (with) two pieces of provincial legislation," Davis said.
He said when it comes to writing tickets, the Highway Traffic Act says either a sign or blue paint is sufficient for a ticket to be legal.
But Davis said provincial regulations governing blue zones were updated in February, when the province raised the fines for parking in blue zones and updated accessability regulations for new and existing buildings.
He said the new regulations lay out what building owners have to put in place to provide blue zones: new buildings must have permanent signage and spaces marked in blue, while existing buildings have until the end of September to comply with the rules.
But Davis said these guidelines have nothing to do with parking enforcement.
Meanwhile, the city's legal and building departments are looking into the issue from the city's end to see where any confusion might be.