MANSFIELD (CBS 11 NEWS) – The Mansfield Fire Marshal is worried about crews being delayed while in an emergency situation.
Initially Fire Marshal Clay Cawood was handing out warnings, but now it’s citations for drivers parking in fire lanes.
In just a week and a half the department has written more than 45 citations to drivers parking in fire lanes.
“Normally its a few [citations] a week,” Cawood said. “It’s not just a violation, it’s a safety issue.”
The problem is so bad illegal parking has even delayed response a few times already. At a Mansfield High School event recently the fire department couldn’t even make it to the scene of the emergency.
“The fire lanes were blocked, on both sides of the road and the truck could not get through,” recalled Cawood. “We are delayed assess to an injury.”
Drivers a CBS 11 News crew found parked in fire lanes at a grocery store admitted they were just “stopping for a second” or picking up someone.
“Did you know you’re parked in a fire lane,” one person was asked. The female driver responded, “No ma’am I didn’t.”
Another driver admitted, “I do it all the time.”
From shopping centers, to parks and schools, there are no shortages of drivers parking in fire lanes.
Cawood said he will do whatever he needs to keep the fire lanes open; including working with the school district to make sure multiple events aren’t scheduled for the same night.
Each citation costs $170.