TRENTON – State Sen. Shirley Turner, (D-15), of Lawrence, said that in her home town, some first-responders are wasting precious time getting to their cars when the calls come in to attend to emergencies.
So, the veteran legislator recently submitted a bill to provide reserved parking spots for volunteer firefighters, and she said a lower chamber version of the bill is coming, too.
The bill, S3018, would permit municipalities to establish restricted parking spaces for certain volunteer firefighters.
In urban areas, parking is at a premium, but most of those cities do not have a volunteer fire squad. But Lawrence is one town with volunteer firefighters and minimal parking space in certain areas; Turner said some volunteers are wasting time getting their car on the road – while the emergency could worsen.
“They said there was a delayed response,” Turner said of her home town’s volunteer firefighters, “because many of them don’t have a lot of driveway space, or are blocked in by a family member’s car (in the driveway).”
Each town would adopt its own ordinance to allow the reserved parking spaces for the first-responders, but in order to do so, the state must pass legislation allowing it, Turner said. She said that in the lower chamber, her district mate, Assemblyman Reed Gusciora, (D-15), of Princeton, is planning to introduce a matching bill.
According to the bill, the designation of restricted volunteer firefighter parking spaces would only be permitted if the spaces do not interfere with the normal flow of traffic.
Volunteer firefighters would be issued a car window permit, and violators parking in the restricted spots would be subject to a $100 fine for the first offense, and a $250 fine for subsequent offenses.