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ASK A COP: Can I report vehicles parked in front of my home?

ASK A COP: Can I report vehicles parked in front of my home?

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Q. Can you have a boat, camper, trailer parked on the street if it is not hooked up to any kind of vehicle? Can expired plates or non-running vehicles, boats, trailers, campers, etc. be parked on the streets in front of your home? I have known people who have been asked to move their things from the street but continue to do it. Is it worth calling the communications center to report these violations?

A. Within the city limits of Scottsbluff, you cannot lawfully have trailers, utility trailers, recreation vehicles, travel trailers, boats, personal watercraft, trailered barbecues or other items intended for attachment to a vehicle parked on the public street unless they are attached to a properly licensed and insured motor vehicle.

Trailers used by contractors are allowed to be parked on the public street so long as they obtain a permit from the city and the location of the parked trailer does not interfere with required driveway and vision requirements.

As for vehicles in general, they must be legally parked, appropriately registered, and in working order. If the vehicles are parked in violation there are certain steps the police department has to take in resolving the issue. Generally, as long as the vehicle wasn’t an immediate traffic hazard it would be tagged with a tow notice at the time the report was received. Each of those violations has a specific time frame allowed for the owner to correct the violation before additional action would be taken.

Often times, when owners are made aware of the issue, they correct it within the allowed time frame. There are definitely people who don’t heed the warning and continue to violate these ordinances. In those instances, citations may be issued for the violation if it’s not corrected and in some circumstances the vehicle may even be impounded as a result.

Is it worth reporting violations? I think so. Not just in regards to parking complaints but criminal activity as a whole. It’s worth noting that a fair number of stolen vehicles are recovered simply by residents calling in a vehicle that suddenly appeared and doesn’t belong to anyone in their neighborhood.

Q. What are the guidelines for parking, on a public street, in front of a residential building? There have been random people parking in front of our home and essentially take up two parking spots and will leave their garbage on our property. Can you call in a car if it’s not blocking a driveway?

A. So long as the vehicle is legally parked, there is no violation to report. If there are lines marking the “parking spots” and the vehicle isn’t parked within the lines then it’s reportable. But if they just are parking in a way that you feel the space used is inappropriate, it would not be considered a violation. Leaving garbage behind is littering, so that would be a reportable issue.

Each week, Sgt. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers. Send questions for consideration to youasked@starherald.com or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.

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