Hilliard Northwest News

City officials want to beef up enforcement of fire lanes


Hilliard officials want to improve safety by enforcing restrictions on fire lanes at commercial buildings and schools.

City officials said blocked fire lanes are a problem at school buildings, in particular, where parking can be difficult at certain times of the day.

Legislation to amend the city code concerning fire lanes was introduced at the Aug. 26 meeting of Hilliard City Council's Public Safety and Legal Affairs Committee.

"Our current law (in some instances) does not give us the authority to cite people or tow a car, (the new legislation) will provide that and make it safer for the public, especially at schools," Deputy Police Chief Bobby Fisher said.

The new legislation will require signs to be posted identifying fire lanes and tow-away zones, as opposed to pavement markers, Fisher said.

It also will be more specific and include a provision to allow for the citation of drivers who remain inside vehicles but are stopped in a fire lane.

Like any regulatory policy, an officer will be able to use discretion, and education about the rule will generally supersede enforcement, Fisher said. Still, police want the provision when it becomes necessary, he said.

The ordinance is scheduled for a first reading at the Sept. 9 City Council meeting.