Lawmen clamp down on illegal parking

St. John’s Antigua- Come next week, the Traffic Department will be stepping up its
anti-illegal parking campaign as it enforces a more stringent approach to
motorists who break traffic laws.
Head of the Traffic Department Inspector Julian Samuels is putting
motorists on guard that there will be increased presence of traffic
wardens and lawmen in St John’s, and violators who insist on leaving their
vehicles in “no parking” zones will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s
expense.
The Traffic Department boss added that motorists who fail to comply with
seat belt law and tinting regulations, which stipulate tints should be no
darker that 35 per cent, would be ticketed as well.
“If you park in ‘no parking’ areas, your vehicle will be towed and drivers
and passengers are required to wear seat belts,” Samuels said, adding the
laws are on the books, however enforcement has been lacking.
According to the head of the Traffic Department, additional training will
be provided for traffic officers to help them better carry out their
duties.
He pointed out that enforcers will be allowed to exercise some leniency.
“Our first duty is prevention. So if a person is parked and a driver is
there, you can ask the driver to move. Ticketing is for unoccupied
(vehicles), so if the driver is present, there is no need to write a
ticket,” Samuels said.
Illegal parking has been a problem for quite some time in St John’s, with
motorists often blocking service entrances to buildings, too close to
junctions, parking in handicapped spots or in designated no parking area
and blocking fire hydrants.
“Every day in St John’s there is some kind of parking issue – double
parking on High Street and Redcliffe Street in the banking areas and it
creates havoc if there is an emergency (involving) fire trucks and
ambulances and impedes the flow of traffic,” Samuels said in an interview
on state-owned television station.