Published Wednesday, 04 July 2012
The minister encourgaed drivers to park safely and be considerate. (© Pacemaker)
The penalty charge notice goes up from £60 to £90, starting Wednesday.
However it is reduced to £45 if paid within two weeks.
Politicians at Stormont voted in favour of the higher rate last month and Roads Minister Danny Kennedy said it will act as a deterrent for those who do not park properly.
"The vast majority of drivers park legally and safely and they need never pay this penalty," said the UUP minister.
"However the increase from £60 to £90 will act as a greater deterrent to those who choose not to park properly.
"It is the department's aim to reduce the number of illegally parked vehicles on our roads, not to issue PCNs."
Mr Kennedy added that a new awareness campaign will run in the lead up to the introduction of a new parking enforcement contract in October.
"Parking restrictions are an important part of traffic management systems which allow the free flow of vehicles," he continued.
"Those restrictions require enforcement to ensure safe parking and encourage a turnover in parking spaces. The overwhelming majority of people recognise this and park legally.
"An awareness campaign, to remind drivers of the parking restrictions and enforcement, will run in the lead up to the introduction of a new parking enforcement contract in October.
"My Department will also publish a protocol on the procedures in place to deal with enforcement, including the process for issuing parking tickets."
East Antrim MLA Stewart Dickson said that he opposes plans to raise car parking penalties.
The Alliance politician said: "I am very disappointed that these new higher fines have been introduced despite reservations from the Regional Development Committee over them.
"If the Minister was genuine about improving parking etiquette and about bringing about a sea-change in driving and parking habits, then he would have considered the introduction of a two-tier system and not a rise in the fines."
He said that such a system would ensure that persistent offenders faced a harsher penalty than they currently do -but it would also deal with people who receive a ticket for running a few minutes late.
"Those are the people whom we do not wish to see penalised any more than they are currently."
"We could also have extended the two tier system for persistent offenders, no matter the offence they commit. Those who had received three fines in a period for minor offences, for example, would receive a higher penalty."