Inconsiderate parking can be ‘difference between life and death’ fire service warns

'Inconsiderate parking' can be the 'difference between life and death,' firefighters have warned. With everyone home at the same time during the coronavirus lockdown, parking in some residential areas has become much more congested. Vehicle owners are being urged to take special care to make sure emergency services and waste collectors are able to get through.

"Minutes really can mean the difference between life and death when we are responding to an incident," Simon Shilton, Avon Fire and Rescue Service's assistant chief fire officer, said. "Firefighters have to be able to navigate tight roads with large trucks when necessary. "We appreciate that people want to be able to park outside their homes during this time and don't do this deliberately but they have to help us to help them," he continued.

"Drivers don't always appreciate the size of a fire truck and park with only enough space for cars to pass. When we manoeuvre through tight streets, we can rarely travel at speed, if at all. "We would like drivers to just be a little more considerate about the space they are leaving, allowing enough space for us to pass.

"This really can be life or death so minutes of delay can make a big difference."

Avon Fire and Rescue Service has shared photos of problematic parking

North Somerset Council services have also been affected by parking problems. Blocked access in North Somerset has led to over five and a half thousand recycling and waste collections being missed or late between Monday, March 16 and Friday, April 24, the council has said today. Councillor Bridget Petty said: "Our collection crews are stretched with additional waste and staffing pressures due to coronavirus.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service has shared photos of problematic parking

"We know residents really appreciate what our crews are doing but it is frustrating if they cannot access a road for collection and it may not always be possible to return to try again.

"With many more people working from home or being furloughed from their jobs, there are more vehicles around more of the time so please follow the top parking tips - you could really help emergency services and our crews."

Inconsiderate parking can be ‘difference between life and death’ fire service warns

Things to consider when parking

  • Pull in your wing mirrors (don't forget to flip them out before driving off)
  • Don't park too close to corners, fire engines, recycling vehicles and refuse trucks are larger than cars and need more room to turn
  • If you're parking opposite someone, remember that a fire engine and council vehicles needs three metres, or two car widths, to pass safely
  • Make sure your wheels are straight and not sticking out
  • Park as close to the kerb as you can
  • Always follow the Highway Code and obey the road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • In narrow streets, only park on one side of the road where possible
  • Make sure you leave enough space for pedestrians on the pavement
  • Don't block driveways.

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