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Abingdon council makes parking in fire lanes illegal

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Fire lane parking

A car is parked in the fire lane at the Abingdon Town Centre.

JOE TENNIS BRISTOL HERALD COURIER

For years, in Abingdon, Virginia police officers would see cars parked in fire lanes illegally but would not have the authority to do anything about it. Until now.

The Abingdon Town Council passed a new ordinance Monday, Nov. 7 to give police the power to enforce ticketing or towing the cars.

“It’s giving you all a tool,” Mayor Derek Webb said. “Clearly, this is public safety-related.”

Prior to this meeting, it was noted as being “unlawful” to park in the fire lanes, but would allow for police or fire emergency vehicles to park in case of fires, Abingdon Police Chief John Holbrook said.

Sometimes, though, members of the public would ask Holbrook if the cars could be moved out of fire lanes, but he have to tell them there is nothing he could do within the law. The new ordinance makes things more clear.

“It’s an ordinance that we haven’t had before, and it would give us authority” to take action, Holbrook said. “The goal is compliance. The goal is to open up those fire lanes should the need arise.”

jtennis@bristolnews.com — 276-791-0709 @BHC_Tennis

jtennis@bristolnews.com | 276-791-0709 | @BHC_Tennis

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