The next time the Isla Vista Foot Patrol puts something on the hood of your car, don’t worry about having to pay a ticket – yet.
Because vehicles parked blocking driveways can hinder local firefighters from dousing blazes and rescuing residents, the IVFP will begin citing vehicles for violating an already existing law in the California Vehicle Code that prohibits cars from being parked in a way that could prevent access by fire engines.
Although citations begin April 21, the IVFP will be placing fliers on obstructively parked cars throughout the next 13 days, in an effort to inform I.V. residents of the law.
The fliers read, in part, “The number of vehicles parked in front of driveways is a deterrent to fire and medical personnel who may need access [to the structure] in an emergency. The county fire marshal has asked that citations be given.”
Although the more stringent enforcement will compound I.V.’s parking problem, it is a necessary precaution, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. Deputy Virgil Messmore said.
“We haven’t really been enforcing the law for the past three years because of the parking situation in I.V.,” Messmore said. “It sucks, but it’s for everyone’s safety to keep the driveways clear.”
Messmore said the change in IVFP policy is a response to recent rescue attempts impeded by cars in the driveway. He also said a car is still in violation even if someone parks it is his or her driveway.
“Even if it’s in front of your own house, you could get a ticket or even be towed,” he said.
Tickets are $30.