Parked vehicles and snow removal

Parking in the snow

There's nothing like a bit of extreme weather to create problems for snow removal equipment.

All that snow has to be pushed somewhere in order clear the streets for drivers. Vehicles parked on those streets can present a problem.

If you have a driveway, the best thing to do is to anticipate the snowfall and (park) off the roads. That will give snow removal equipment all the room that they need to clean as much of the street as they are able to in the circumstances.

You will only have to clear the driveway to have access to the street and you can move the snow to the side.

It is generally illegal to shovel snow onto a sidewalk or the street itself.

Are you forced to park in the street? Many municipalities limit the amount of time you can park in one place, usually a maximum of 24 hours. Eventually you will have to move your vehicle to allow the street to be cleared. If you don't do that, police or road maintenance personnel may have your vehicle towed away. You will be responsible to pay the towing bill in order to get your vehicle back.

What happens if you are out, need to park and the sides of the street are either not cleared or you can't drive into a parking space because it hasn't been cleared well enough?

Abandoning your vehicle part way, or all the way, in the traffic lane is not the answer, even if you are only going to be gone for a minute. It may be convenient for you but emergency services always need free access. Again, you may be towed for doing that and have to pay an expensive bill.

Finally, beware of doing a poor parking job that results in a collision, even if it’s one that only involves the vehicles trying to get around your vehicle. It is possible that you could be held partially at fault and become involved in an insurance claim.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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