Win­ter park­ing reg­u­la­tions in ef­fect in Amherst

The Amherst News - - NEWS -

This week’s skiff of snow pro­vided a re­minder that win­ter is com­ing, and so are the town’s win­ter park­ing reg­u­la­tions.

The reg­u­la­tions pro­hibit park­ing on any street or high­way within the town’s bound­aries be­tween mid­night and 7 a.m. from Nov. 15 un­til April 15. They also re­quire ve­hi­cles be moved off of those same streets and high­ways any time snow or ice-clear­ing op­er­a­tions are un­der­way.

“The main rea­son for im­ple­ment­ing the win­ter reg­u­la­tions is safety,” deputy chief of po­lice Dwayne Pike said.

Not­ing that snow ac­cu­mu­lates around parked ve­hi­cles, Pike said the com­bi­na­tion of snow and a parked ve­hi­cle can pre­vent a road from be­ing plowed, mak­ing it im­pass­able, which could have neg­a­tive con­se­quences in an emer­gency.

“We want to make sure am­bu­lances as well as po­lice and fire ve­hi­cles can get through dur­ing storms,” the deputy chief said. “We also want to pre­vent ac­ci­dents that can oc­cur when snow builds up around a parked car.”

Pro­vid­ing fewer “headaches” for snow plow op­er­a­tors is an­other rea­son the reg­u­la­tion is im­ple­mented an­nu­ally, Pike said.

Those who vi­o­late the by­law are sub­ject to a $50 fine and ve­hi­cles can be towed. How­ever, po­lice try to avoid do­ing ei­ther.

“When a storm is com­ing, we usu­ally pa­trol the streets and try to contact the own­ers to ask them to get their ve­hi­cles off the streets,” Pike said. “We do that even dur­ing storms if it’s pos­si­ble. But when it isn’t, we may is­sue a ticket, and we may have the ve­hi­cle towed so the plows can do their job.

“We’d much pre­fer that peo­ple vol­un­tar­ily take their ve­hi­cles off the streets dur­ing snow­storms so that ev­ery­one — snow-plow op­er­a­tors, po­lice, fire­fight­ers and our cit­i­zens — re­mains safe.”

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