Parking in front of a hydrant…not a hot idea
I’ve written many times how busy we tend to be within our daily lives. To many people, they’re often running late and will take chances to get themselves to their destination on time; or as close to it as possible. How many times have you found yourself running late and took chances that you knew were wrong?
The driver of the vehicle in this photo was either in a hurry to get to where they wanted to go and didn’t care where they parked or they failed to see the fire hydrant. Considering it stood out with bright red paint and we’ve seen them since we’ve been kids, why did the driver park there? Do they know what the local law is for parking close to the hydrant?
Depending on your jurisdiction, you must park anywhere from 10 feet (3 metres) up to 15 feet (5 metres) from a fire hydrant. The more space you leave the better. If you leave more space, you’re helping the fire fighters reach the hydrant in case of fire. To many people within our society they don’t see fires close to where they reside. Because of this, they tend to “bend” the rules and park where they want. The down side is the by-law officers will ticket you for parking that close. What a waste of money that is.
Depending upon where you live, the fine can start anywhere from $65 and go up to $250 for parking too close to a hydrant. To many people, they would be extremely annoyed if they received a ticket for this. But think about the fire fighter who needs to get to the hydrant. Wouldn’t your vehicle slow them down from getting the hoses connected to fight the fire? How would you feel if your vehicle added to the cause of severe damage to someone’s property just because you wanted to park where you knew you shouldn’t?
As much as you may feel tempted, please find another parking space. Find a space that suites everyone’s needs and that you can stay within the by-laws. As a pedestrian I’ve walked and have seen driver’s park near a fire hydrant. I usually stop them and let them know the hydrant is there. They may not have seen it right away so I feel I’m doing the community a service by helping those drivers better understand the by-laws.
Over the many years as a driving instructor for Young Drivers of Canada I‘ve had my student pull over to the curb and stop. I let them choose the safest place. If they stop close to a hydrant I ask them what the legal distance is for a hydrant. For the most part they know the correct answer, but I ask them why they still stopped there. They tell me they didn’t see it. Maybe that’s the case with this driver.
I remember the 1991 move “Backdraft”, starring Kurt Russell, when the fire fighter broke windows on both sides of a parked vehicle so they could get the hose from the pumper to the hydrant. How would you feel if they did this to your vehicle? Yeah, I thought so. Whatever the reason you had for parking this close to a fire hydrant, it’s not a good one…and it’s not really about the fine. It’s about respect for those who need to use the hydrant.