Seeing red?

Police tag cars blocking snowplows

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People who leave their cars parked on city streets when it snows risk more than having their cars buried as snowplows pass. They face having their vehicles towed and being fined $20.

The first snow of the year generally prompts a flurry of action for Code Enforcement Officer Becky Otis. She spent the better part of Thursday "red tagging" vehicles that prevented plows from removing snow from city streets.

On Monday, police officers red tagged 16 vehicles.

A red tag is a warning to motorists that they have 48 hours to move their vehicles. If a vehicle isn't moved, authorities will impound it until the owner pays towing costs.

Snowplowing is defined as curb to curb, said Capt. Jerry DeLong of the Craig Police Department.

"We want to get snow off the traveling surface to make the roads safer for the motoring public," he said. "Every time it snows, people should put their cars in their driveways whenever possible."

Vehicles can be parked at the curb after the street has been plowed.

City plows gear up when there is 2 inches of snow on the ground, said Randy Call, Craig Road and Bridge Department supervisor.

Vehicles are a big problem for plow operators, he said.

"It's very difficult to maneuver down a street, plow a street and get around all the cars, trailers and toys," he said.

More vehicles are parked in the streets this year than in previous years, Call said.

"The only way to get a lot of them moved is to red tag them," he said.

Call said city workers waste about four hours per storm to check on cars that were in the way during plowing.

"If we don't get it one day, we go back over the whole route the next day," he said.

The city will plow the end of driveways for residents age 65 and older.

People also can be cited for shoveling snow onto city streets.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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