Snow bans have become a winter tradition in many Maritime communities, but when motorists don’t get the message, they have to pay the price.

The City of Saint John declared a ban on the weekend, which surprised several uptown residents who park on the street.

“On Sunday when we all looked out and saw that there was actually no snow, it had been foggy and rainy all day,” says Julie Dingwell, who lives and parks in uptown Saint John.

She awoke to find a ticket on her windshield Monday morning.

City staff say they try to be consistent with having a snow ban the day after a storm, but over 150 people didn’t get that message on the weekend.

Almost 170 tickets were issued and 27 vehicles were towed.

“So, in that case, I ask that city staff would be able to look around and say ‘gee boss, you know, there’s 200-plus cars that haven’t moved. I think they don’t know about the snow ban,’ and that somebody would be able to apply a little common sense instead of being mean,” says Dingwell.

Tim O’Reilly, traffic service manager for the city, says the decision of declaring a snow ban must be made early in the day based on the forecast.

“So we had to make that decision early on, on Sunday, and we did recognize that the forecast called for mild temperatures during the day, but it also called for extremely cold temperatures overnight and into the following days,” says O’Reilly.

“The decision was to call a ban or not. If the decision was not to call a ban and the snow hadn’t melted, it would have turned to ice and been harder to remove.”

A winter parking ban will be in effect overnight in the Halifax area, which means cars parked on HRM streets between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m. Wednesday could be ticketed or towed.

Halifax resident Greg Dunphy says it’s an inconvenience when vehicles don’t abide by the city’s winter parking ban.

“It’s a hindrance for me, with the plow going out around them…that the plow can’t get in close enough to the curb,” he says.

Meanwhile, Dingwell says she will be keeping a closer eye on Saint John’s website to make sure she doesn’t miss the next parking ban.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ashley Dunbar