Several vehicles red-tagged over Christmas holiday |

Several vehicles red-tagged over Christmas holiday

Christina M. Currie

It was a quiet Christmas holiday weekend for law enforcement. Most of officers’ energy was spent red-tagging vehicles that were blocking snow removal.

“After the first significant snowfall of the year, you get more complications,” Craig Police Department Lt. John Forgay said.

More than 26 vehicles were red-tagged Dec. 22 through Monday a substantial figure.

“We’re not actively looking for violations,” Forgay said, “but snowplows do need to get through. We’re just trying to get people to work with us.”

The City of Craig has an ordinance prohibiting the interference with street maintenance, including snowplowing. It requires officers take a reasonable effort to notify people a vehicle is in the way before having that vehicle towed.

Red-tagging, Forgay said, is the department’s reasonable effort.

Cars that remain in the path of snowplows make the job of road and bridge crews more difficult.

“It does not make it very easy,” City Road and Bridge Department Supervisor Randy Call said. “It sure helps us to clean the streets when they’re out of the way.”

According to Call, crews extend their routes the next day if they have missed a portion the day before because a vehicle was parked in the way.

“It just adds a little more for us to do,” he said. “It takes a little time to go back, but we try to do it.”

Call urged drivers to park off the street until a snowplow has gone by to avoid being red-tagged or buried.

A red tag is a warning not a ticket. People have about 72 hours to move the vehicle after it has been red-tagged to avoid being towed.

“Instead of saying you’re parking illegally, it’s just saying you’re violating the ordinance,” Forgay said.

Officers determine a vehicle should be red-tagged if they see where a snowplow has gone by and had to go around the vehicle.