New Bedford Facing Plow Driver Shortage With Winter Coming
Year after year, folks in New Bedford have their cars towed away for violating the snow emergency parking ban and insist they knew nothing of the regulation, how to comply with it, or how to find out when an emergency is declared.
If you are one of those people, shame on you. It is not rocket science.
First, whenever there is even a hint of snow, the news media is all over it. You don't have to wait for Jim Cantore to drive down your street in a snow plow to know that a winter storm is forecast.
Anyone with a cell phone, computer, TV, radio, etc., knows when a storm is brewing. You can't miss it.
Second, when you were a kid, you damn well knew where to go to find school cancellations on snow days. Go back to your source, as it will also tell you if a parking ban is in place.
As a backup, save the City of New Bedford page on snow parking bans on your device for future reference. Do it now so you don't forget.
The parking ban is a regulation you should know about. Why? If the police have your car towed, you will be fined, pay towing costs, and pay the towing company for storing your vehicle. Being lazy or ignorant of the rules can be costly.
When a snow emergency parking ban is declared, there are rules for how and where to park your vehicle until the emergency is over. There are 38 designated parking lots throughout the city where you can park free of charge until the emergency declaration is lifted.
Also, the City's website has information about your responsibility for shoveling, where to find sand and a host of important emergency contact numbers.
"It is imperative that when a parking ban is in effect, residents park their cars accordingly and obey signage posted on specific City streets," said New Bedford DPI Director Jamie Ponte.
"City plows need to be able to make it up and down the street, and when residents adhere to the emergency parking regulations, DPI is able to get the job done more effectively and efficiently," Ponte said.
Ponte said a worker shortage makes adherence to the parking ban more crucial this year than ever.
"A significant number of plow driver positions at DPI are currently vacant," he said. "If these vacancies persist into the snow season, it is likely the City will be forced to deploy fewer trucks during a storm event than we would normally."