Jul 17, 2020

What You Need To Know About Parking Near A Fire Hydrant

Fire Hydrant Parking

Most drivers know that parking beside a fire hydrant is illegal. But, do you what the fines are and if it can affect your driving record?

Parking near a fire hydrant is a safety hazard to the community. If you park in front of a hydrant that is needed by firefighters, you could inhibit their ability to fight a fire.

If firefighters need access to the hydrants during an emergency, they will do whatever is necessary. This includes breaking your car windows to get access. The hose needs to be in a straight line for maximum water pressure – going over or under a car is not always an option.

Here are the rules and consequences you must know for parking near fire hydrants.

How Far Do You Need To Park From A Fire Hydrant?

You are not allowed to park within three metres (nine feet) of a fire hydrant, or you will be fined if caught. This is applicable in all municipalities across Ontario. You can also get a ticket if you are parked to load or unload near a fire hydrant.

The three metre rule exists so fire crews can see hydrants from the street and park as close as possible to access the hydrants when working on extinguishing a fire.

What Is The Fine For Parking Too Close To A Fire Hydrant?

In Ontario, the fine for parking too close to a fire hydrant is $100. Fines can be paid in person at the local city hall or online.

Fire Hydrant Parking In Toronto

Fire Hydrant Parking Distance

The Canadian Press found in Toronto, illegal parking near fire hydrants brought in millions of dollars for city hall. According to the report, the city has collected more than $24 million since 2008 by fining people who parked too close to hydrants.

Being ticketed can happen regardless of how far back the hydrant is from the curb. Cars parked too close to the infamous fire hydrant at 393 University Ave, have been ticketed close to 3000 times. The fines add up to $289,620 - more than any other hydrant in Toronto.

You Parked Close To A Fire Hydrant. Now what?

If you parked too close to a fire hydrant, details on how to pay your ticket are found on the parking ticket. You may dispute a violation in court according to the Ontario Provincial Offenses Act, if you have a valid reason and can prove it. Most cities in Ontario offer 15 days to pay the parking ticket. However, if you ignore the ticket, you will receive additional penalties.

Tips To Avoid A Fire Hydrant Parking Ticket

Here are some tips to avoid getting parking tickets in your city :

  • Look for fire hydrants that are across from the curb or closer to buildings.
  • Double-check for street signs that mention "no parking" and "fire route".
  • Plan your trip ahead of time and locate public parking near your destination.
  • Avoid idling in 'no stopping zones' and 'no standing' areas, including near hydrants.
  • Try public transit. You won't need to waste time trying to find parking, and you'll help lower your carbon imprint.

Fire Hydrant Parking FAQs

Here are some common questions about parking near a fire hydrant :

You will not get demerit points for a fire hydrant parking ticket because it is not a moving violation.

In Ontario, many cities have a $100 fine for parking less than three metres away. There are some variances from city to city. Always check the local laws of where you live or are travelling to.

If you do receive a ticket for parking too close to a fire hydrant, it will not impact your Ontario car insurance rates. Parking tickets will not appear on your insurance history record. No matter how many tickets you receive, your rates will not increase because any type of parking tickets.

You cannot if there are signs and if you are less than three meters away from the hydrant. Generally, roads are wide enough for you to park across the street from a fire hydrant, but always double check for parking signs and distance.

If you park beside an out of service fire hydrant, you can still get a ticket.

No, the colour of the fire hydrant is irrelevant. You must still park at least three meters away from it or you risk being ticketed.

It is never acceptable to park less than three meters from a fire hydrant. It doesn’t matter if the hydrant is out of order, if you’re making a quick stop, or if it is painted a different colour.

Although firefighters will not intentionally damage your vehicle, it can happen. There have been instances where vehicles have had their windows broken for the hose to access the hydrant. A couple broken windows is a small price to pay for safety of a person or community.

Call the non-emergency phone number in your area. Advise the operator of an illegally parked car. You will need to provide them the location, license plate, make and model of the vehicle.

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