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Illegal Parking Clogging Up SoCal Mountain Roads, Delaying Rescues

People who ignore “no parking” signs on their way to see the snow this weekend are more likely to get cited or towed.

More police officers will be out this weekend looking for people who park where they’re not supposed to while on their way to “problem” areas like Wrightwood, Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear, San Bernardino County Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Tracy said.

The big reason for the crackdown is that people who park illegally are clogging up the roadways and delaying emergency responders.

“We understand that people want to get out and enjoy these mountain communities, but they have to do it responsibly,” Tracy said.

Fire Capt. Brandon McGarvey showed NBC4 several videos of a Jan. 21 rescue that was delayed due to multiple illegally parked cars. A hiker had fallen several hundred feet, but the fire truck couldn’t squeeze through the congested traffic.

First responders had to park the truck and walk along the roadway to reach the “extremely injured” hiker, doubling their response time and putting the man’s life in jeopardy, McGarvey said. Thankfully, a helicopter was able to hoist the victim to safety, but first responders don’t want similar scenes to continue.

McGarvey said people must stick to the parking lots and stay off the roads or face getting their car towed, as well as fines between $45 and $150.

“If it was their emergency or their family member’s emergency, I’m sure they would want us to be able to respond quickly and safely to help them,” McGarvey said.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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