It appears the city didn’t know the rules before telling drivers to know their zones.

On Friday, the City of Winnipeg said it’s quashing outstanding tickets issued during its annual Know Your Zone program.

But the city isn’t playing Santa for all: drivers who’ve already pled guilty and paid fines won’t receive a refund.

Winnipeg COO Michael Jack told CTV Friday the city illegally issued snow clearing tickets 24 hours a day.

Jack said without proper signage warning drivers, the law only allows ticketing between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.

He said 32,000 tickets have been issued, with 25,000 of them outside of the overnight timespan.

The annual ticket and tow program takes place during residential snow clearing efforts, and Winnipeg residents were told to look online or call 311 to find out when parking bans would be in effect.

This year, the City of Winnipeg might not be issuing tickets at all for Know Your Zone, but they still have the ability to tow.

The decision comes in the wake of media attention scrutinizing the potentially-problematic program.

In early November, Wise Up Winnipeg’s Todd Dube challenged a snow clearing ticket in court, arguing the city needs to put up signs before it can ticket drivers.

It appears the city agrees with Dube.

Following a CTV News story about the case, Jack sent an email to the mayor’s office and others.

It says without changes to provincial law, the city might not be able to issue tickets, but can still tow vehicles to other streets.

“So, for those of you who didn’t catch the story, it basically captured the current dilemma,” Jack, a former city lawyer, wrote in the email.

“To be clear, this will not change our approach to a major snow event. The city will also remain completely able to tow vehicles, just potentially without the ability to issue tickets,” he wrote.

In the email, Jack indicates the city is waiting for changes to the provincial law, but he’s unsure they’ll happen.

Dube obtained the email through a Freedom of Information request.