District-wide crackdown on motorists who park on pavements

DEVON County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police are warning drivers that they could be endangering lives by parking on pavements.

DEVON County Council and Devon and Cornwall Police are warning drivers that they could be endangering lives by parking on pavements.

Parking on pavements is an illegal obstruction of the highway which can cause problems for people with poor eyesight and mobility difficulties, and if on a pavement near a school it can also make it difficult for schoolchildren to see oncoming vehicles when crossing the road.

It can put pedestrians, wheelchair users and people with pushchairs at risk if they are forced into the road.

Police neighbourhood teams are handing out warning leaflets in some cases, and making a note of vehicle registrations of offenders. In areas where laws are continually breached, or for particularly serious breaches, action will be taken and offenders could receive a Fixed Penalty with a fine of up to �30.

They may also have their vehicle removed and the cost of removal will have to be paid by the car owner before it is released back to them. This is in addition to the �30 fixed penalty fine. They could also be charged for the costs of repairing damage to the pavements and any service cables or pipes under the surface.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "Pavements are for pedestrians not vehicles. Not only is this anti-social but it can seriously endanger people's safety, which all motorists must realise. It can also end up causing damage to pavements which aren't designed to take the weight of vehicles, and ends up adding to the County's highway maintenance costs."

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Chief Inspector Andrew Tomlinson, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said: "Neighbourhood policing is about dealing with the issues that are important to communities and have an adverse impact on peoples day to day lives. When consulting the public, inconsiderate and dangerous parking is one of the most frequently raised concerns. Cars parked in such a way to cause an obstruction cause inconvenience and in many cases a hazard. This hazard often has a particular impact on the most vulnerable members of the community. Obstruction remains an offence that is dealt with by the police. It is our aim to improve standards of driving and parking through advice and education wherever practical, but enforcement powers will also be used where necessary."

Driving along the pavement is also an offence which carries a fine of up to �1,000.

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