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Board considering fire lane ordinance
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The Dawson County Board of Commissioners is considering an ordinance that would target motorists who block fire lanes and park in handicap designated spaces without permits.


Sgt. Robbie Irvin with the Dawson County Marshal’s Office pointed to the parking lot in front of Kroger as an example of the need for a county fire lane ordinance.


Drivers consistently park in what he referred to as “princess” lanes designated for emergency vehicles to pick up dry cleaning and buy cups of coffee, he said.


The proposed ordinance would address the use of fire lanes, regulate the use of signs to identify fire lanes and handicap parking spaces, establish penalties for violations and identify those responsible for enforcement.


Currently, drivers who park in handicap spaces and fire lanes are subject to state fines.


County Manager Kevin Tanner said citations would be processed through the local magistrate court rather than at the state level, which he said is a benefit to the officers.


“From a law enforcement standpoint … magistrate court is the preferred method for this type of thing. It’s just a lot easier for the officers verses state law to have it all under one ordinance,” Tanner said. “It would also allow the fire marshal’s office and the county marshal to enforce it.”


Irvin said the fines, which range from $25 for the first violation to $50 for subsequent tickets, are in line with the state’s penalties.


Public hearings on the proposed ordinance are tentatively set for June 2 and 16 during the board’s regular meetings.