PENDER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – Pender County Emergency Management issued a reminder to the public about the laws concerning parking vehicles along streets, particularly near fire hydrants, and the consequences of those actions.
The fire marshal said that fire and emergency vehicles need unobstructed access and all roadways must be passable.
“In housing developments where parking on the street occurs, especially near a fire hydrant, this can be a serious concern and a violation of state statute,” said Pender County Deputy Fire Marshal Amy Burton.
According to a news release, fire vehicles need an unobstructed width of not less than 20-feet, not including road shoulders, and a height of not less than 13-feet 6 inches.
“State statute specifically notates the parking of vehicles along a street,” said Burton. “Every street, especially in heavily populated areas, must be clear for emergency vehicles at all times.”
Fire code officials have the authority to remove vehicles and/or issue citations up to $250.
“To ensure the safety of our residents and their properties, we urge all neighborhoods to evaluate all street parking,” said Burton. “Residents with concerns regarding obstructed access should call the fire marshal’s office.”
North Carolina General Statute 20-16 outlines the law regarding parking near fire hydrants, private driveways, near intersections, and in fire lanes.
In a recent incident on May 29, 2022, first responders were unable to reach the location of a person who was being resuscitated on the beach at Oak Island because beach accesses were blocked by parked vehicles. Emergency personnel had to go to another access. Sadly, the person died.
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