Richmond’s Safety Officer Danny Cruise will be stepping up enforcement for those who park in fire lanes beginning Monday, Jan. 18.

As of now, Cruise gives a verbal warning to anyone caught still inside their vehicle while parked in a fire lane.

“I’ve been asking them to move, and that’s not working,” Cruise said. “There will be no more warnings. If they’re in their car, they’re still getting a ticket.”

Cruise said he issues anywhere from 50 to 75 parking tickets in a month.

The fee for parking in a fire lane is $25, and the person is given 10 days to pay the fine, Cruise said.

“After 10 days, they will receive a letter in the mail telling them that they have so much (additional) time, and if it’s not paid by then, a summons will be issued for them to go to court and pay the fines,” he said.

Citizens are given more than enough time to take care of any parking tickets they may receive, according to Sgt. Willard Reardon, public affairs officer for the Richmond Police Department.

“It’s just a matter of how lazy people are,” Reardon said.

Fire lanes are for emergency vehicles only, Cruise said.

“They have to be on official business or an emergency, and that includes members of the police department, fire department and official city vehicles,” he said. “They’ve all been informed to not just park (in fire lanes) for reasons other than official business.”

Another problem created when people park in fire lanes without authorization include an increase in shoplifting, Cruise said.

“They (shoplifters) can park in the fire lane, run out of the store and be gone before anyone can get a license number, a description or anything,” he said.

“The biggest thing we’re looking out for is the safety of the public, as well as enforcing traffic laws,” Reardon said.

Those who do not properly use their handicapped parking tag will be getting ticketed more often as well.

“If you don’t have a handicap tag, you’re getting a ticket,” Reardon said. “A lot of people have the ones they hand on the (rearview) mirror, but they don’t put them up there all the time. Then, they’ll park in handicapped parking and wonder why they got a ticket. They’ll come to the police department and say ‘Well, I had my sticker.’ According to the law, it has to be displayed. It can’t be laying in your seat or your glove box.”

Visit and click on “City Ordinances” to search for more information about Richmond’s parking laws.

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 624-6608.

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