Fire lane violators now face traffic ticket

Yukon police officers can enforce new city ordinance

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Yukon Police Chief John Corn

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

Yukon police officers now can issue traffic citations to anyone parking in a fire lane.

Ordinance No. 1417 helps assure that fire lanes “are open at all time for use by various emergency vehicles responding to unforeseen emergencies.”

The new city ordinance has amended the Yukon City Code to prohibit vehicles from stopping, standing or parking “within 50 feet of a fire lane.”

People who violate the new city law will be subject to a $35 fine, Yukon Police Chief John Corn said.

“It is becoming a steadily growing problem,” Corn said. “A lot of it is because people don’t recognize the fire lane. They don’t understand the importance it can be in the event of a fire or medical emergency.”

When the Yukon City Council approved the ordinance Nov. 17, it gave the police department authority to issue an enforcement action.

“It’s very similar to a handicapped parking citation,” Corn noted.

Mayor Shelli Selby questioned if there was a need to pass a new law to keep people from parking in a fire lane.

“Won’t people do it because it’s the right thing to do?” Selby asked.

Chief Corn quickly replied, “Unfortunately, no, they don’t.”

NOW PART OF YUKON LAW

Before this new ordinance was adopted, Yukon city inspectors could write citations for fire lane violations under the building code.

Yukon City Attorney Gary Miller

“It was a standard, not a law,” Corn explained. “The city attorney (Gary Miller) did a great job putting this ordinance language together – including the penalty.”

Fire lanes are marked so only emergency vehicles can park there.

“It’s been something that’s been discussed for several years now,” Yukon’s police chief said. “Now by putting it in our municipal ordinance language, it gives us an area to enforce under our traffic law.”

There are 14 other places where parking is prohibited in Yukon, according to city code:

  • On a sidewalk.
  • In front of a public or private driveway.
  • Within an intersection.
  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant, except in a parking space officially marked.
  • On a crosswalk.
  • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection.
  • Within 30 feet upon the approaching to any flashing beacon, stop sign or traffic control signal.
  • Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone, unless the city indicates a different length by signs or markings.
  • Within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing.
  • Within 20 feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station and, on the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station, within 75 feet of such entrance, when properly marked by a posted sign.
  • Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing or parking would obstruct traffic.
  • On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.
  • Upon any bridge or other elevated structure upon a highway or within a highway underpass.
  • At any place where official signs prohibit stopping.