Fire dept increasing friendly enforcement of fire lanes

Logan’s Fire Department has started a “citizen friendly enforcement” of sections of the city code relating to parking in or obstructing fire lanes. Fire Chief Mark Meaker said the department’s approach will be “…without a Gestapo-type approach.” “In working with local businesses some indicate they want their fire lanes enforced more stringently,” said Meaker. “With those businesses who want their facilities more strongly enforced, we’ll pay particular attention. “The idea behind this came out of the notion that we’re getting more private subdivisions with 20-foot wide roads. In order for us to be able to get through we have to restrict parking on those narrow roads. So we have to have an effective way to enforce that.” Meaker said the department has come up with a parking warning slip to be placed on vehicles. “Basically, it politely asks the person to avoid parking the vehicle in a restricted area in the future,” said Meaker. “After we write those warning slips we enter the information into a data base, based on the vehicle license plate number. Later, if we find further enforcement problems, we’ll have a record of how many times they have been warned. Only if they have been warned multiple times would we call for a patrol officer and ask for a ticket to be written, which could result in a fine.” Meaker said no additional personnel are being added in this effort and there is virtually no additional cost. In the process of routine department business a warning ticket could be written if a serious violation is found. “For instance, it would be regarded as serious if a vehicle was blocking a fire lane so as to truly impede our ability to get in, ” said Meaker. Meaker said he expects there will be between 90 and 95 percent cooperation and compliance in this enforcement action. “It’s our desire to never have a ticket written, just to educate people through using the warning slips to not park in restricted areas,” said Meaker. “Our department gets no revenue from any tickets that would be written,” said Meaker, “and it would be to my great delight in a year to report we had written some warning slips but didn’t have to write a single citation.” Meaker said citizens should not park where there is a metal post with a “No Parking/Fire Lane” sign because it has the same legal effect as a red painted curb.

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