POSTED - NOVEMBER 20, 2007 5:45 P.M. - CST
JONESBORO - For holiday shopping, parking is always an issue and you may be tempted to leave your vehicle in a red fire zone. But doing that can cost you big bucks...
Sometimes temptation overcomes common sense. For instance, you just need a quart of milk so you park in the Fire Zone for just a minute. But leaving your car or even just sitting and waiting for someone to come out is a violation of the law as well as a safety hazard.
Jonesboro Fire Marshal, Jason Wills explained to me that "The entire front of the store is considered a fire lane and people pull up to the front of the store, leave the vehicle and go inside, or the're just waiting on some one theiy're just basically blocking the firelanes."
Parking in fire zones has always been a problem and until recently there has not been enough manpower in the Fire marshals office to police these areas but now with three fire marshalls the problem can be addressed.
Wills, "it's (parking) gotten to be so bad that the city is now addressing that and the Fire Marshals office is taking the right steps to make sure that it stops."
Now in most cases the Fire Marshal is going to ask you to move along, get out of the fire lane but if you park your car by a Fire Zone sign or in the red zone, and you leave it. It's gonna cost you.
Wills "it's actually a citation to court and if I'm not mistaken the ticket is sixty dollars and then court costs are a hundred dollars so it would be a hundred sixty dollars."
And if they can't find you to move your vehicle.
Wills "it is marked on the signs that it is a fire lane and that it is a tow away zone and it will be towed at the owners expense if we can not get some one out fast enough to move the car."
Although the fire department is cracking down they still try to give drivers a chance to avoid a ticket.
Safety is also an issue with people stepping around parked vehicles into on coming traffic. So don't give in to temptation, stay out of the red fire zone.
Wills, "please just don't park there please use the parking spaces and it'll save yourself a ticket."