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Fire crews from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service have launched a considerate parking initiative aimed at encouraging drivers to think about how they park so that emergency vehicles can still access all properties.
The idea behind the scheme is that in certain areas of the county DFRS crews have been unable to reach emergency situations due to parked vehicles restricting their access. When crews experience this they will put a specially designed leaflet on the vehicle and make a note of the registration number. If registration numbers keep appearing they will be reported to Dorset Police.
Crews from Weymouth Fire Station have developed this scheme in partnership with Dorset Police. Weymouth firefighter, Nick Thirkettle, said:
"It is vital that emergency crews can gain access to your street when responding to 999 calls. Precious time could be lost and lives put at risk when taking alternative routes or trying to squeeze between inconsiderately parked vehicles.
"When parking on the roads please think about emergency vehicles being able to get through. It may be you, your family, friends, colleagues or neighbours that we can't get to."
Sergeant Rachel Goodwin, Anti-Social Behaviour Co-ordinator for Dorset Police, added:
"We have been working with Dorset Fire and Rescue Service in order to encourage drivers to consider the way that they are parking.
"It is a specific offence to obstruct or hinder emergency workers who are responding to emergency circumstances. By causing an unnecessary obstruction, which could include stopping on the road and/or pavement, you may end up delaying emergency vehicles which can ultimately be a matter of life or death.
"The details of repeat offenders who persist in inappropriate parking will be passed to Dorset Police and we will consider whether any further action is deemed necessary."