2018-11-07 / Front Page

Waynesboro police to educate drivers

Operation Parking Safe

The Waynesboro Police Department has initiated a new program they hope will not only make roads safer and easier to travel, but one that will educate drivers and help them avoid being ticketed.

Operation Parking Safe began on Oct. 28, and WPD Lt. Glenn Newsom says its purpose is to inform the public of the dangers of illegal parking as well as to explain to them exactly what it means.

“We have a serious problem with parking here in the city limits,” Newsom said, “and it has continued to grow. It’s a safety concern, and we are addressing it with our citizens so that we can all be on the same page.”

Newsom explained one concern the department has is that many residents don’t even realize they are breaking the law. “People park on the wrong side of the street; they double park; they might not know what they’re doing is unsafe.”

Yet, in the business district and housing areas especially, the offenses continue, hampering the ability for fire trucks and other emergency vehicles to pass through. To crack down on the issue, police have implemented a plan of action that consists of three stages: education, warnings and supervised enforcement. From now through Nov. 10, the education phase is in effect, and officers are educating the public, passing out brochures and leaving detailed information on vehicles that are in violation of the law.

“We are strictly focused on getting this information in their hands right now,” Newsom stated. He explained that when parking on the street, drivers should park in a space that goes with the flow of traffic. “If your yard is on the opposite side of the road, you can’t just park there because it’s more convenient.” Additionally, he cleared the misconception some have about double parking. “Double parking is when someone parks directly opposite of another vehicle, thus obstructing the roadway. There’s less room for vehicles to travel, which is especially dangerous when an emergency vehicle is trying to get to someone. Every day in this country people are hurt or killed because of this type of be- ior, believe it or not.”

From Nov. 11-24, WPD officers will issue warnings, either directly to drivers or by leaving them on the windshield of improperly parked vehicles. Supervised enforcement will be from Nov. 25-Dec. 8, in which officers will identify any park- ing infractions that pose a safety hazard, make every effort to contact the vehicle owner and call a supervisor to decide what action to take.

“Our hope is that by Dec. 9, the word will have spread and everyone will be on board,” Newsom continued, adding that citations will be issued at that point, with a minimum fine of $120. “We our here for our citizens and want to get them oriented to following the law.”

For additional information, contact Lt. Newsom at the police department at 706.554.8029.

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