By Chief Don Hutson
Parking on public roadways has been a recent topic of discussion as Riverton City has investigated several complaints of residents upset by the number and type of vehicles parked on the road in their neighborhood. These complaints are sometimes directed toward our code enforcement personnel when it is believed the parked cars are associated with other code violations, such as running a business from a residential dwelling or other nuisance type complaints. Other times, the complaint may simply be reported to the police department as a traffic problem and investigated by our traffic units. Regardless of how the investigation is initiated, the city will attempt to address the situation by responding to the area and gathering facts before taking any action. It is important to know even a parking violator is afforded the same constitutional protections as any other person who has been accused of a crime. In other words, we can’t simply issue a citation or impound a vehicle based on a complaint which is not corroborated by our own investigation. We must independently confirm the illegality of the act and ensure we are issuing the citation to the correct person or impounding based on sound legal justification.
The parking ordinances most frequently violated in our city are the following:
10.10.010 (6) (a) It shall be an infraction for any person to park or leave standing on any public road, street, alley or city property any motor vehicle for 48 or more consecutive hours, and any vehicle so parked or left standing may be impounded or removed by law enforcement.
10.10.050 (1) It shall be unlawful for any person or owner of any vehicle to park a motor vehicle, travel trailer, horse trailer, utility trailer, or other like vehicle on any street in Riverton City from the date of November 1st of each year until the date of March 1st of the following year during a snowstorm, or when snow has accumulated in lanes of travel on a city street.
Violations of these ordinances occur in our city every day, and we will continue to investigate and enforce these laws when appropriate. That said, it is my hope we can all be a bit more attentive to the disruption parking violations can have on a neighborhood and voluntarily comply without government intervention. It will make our streets safer and increase our quality of life.