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Help save lives by parking sensibly during Road Safety Week – and at all times

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This week is Road Safety Week (16-22 November), sponsored by road safety charity BRAKE, and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is reminding people of the vital importance of parking safely.

Inconsiderate parking could block access for emergency services and cost the life of someone you love.

Road Safety Week is part of the police’s two-week Vulnerable Road Users campaign running from 9 – 22 November.

HWFRS is encouraging people to consider the needs of the blue light services when they park, remembering that large vehicles – such as fire appliances – need extra space to get through and reach an emergency, especially in congested narrow streets.

The Service attended almost 6,240 vehicle incidents of various types in the ten-year period between 1 April 2010 and 31 March 2020, over half of them involving a car and 40% multiple vehicles, and nearly half of the incidents involving the rescue of trapped persons. Morning and evening rush hours were the most common times for incidents to occur.

However, whether attending a vehicle incident, a fire or some other emergency, access is vital, as Station Commander Steve Andrews of the HWFRS Community Risk Department said: “We fully understand that some streets weren’t designed for the number of cars that residents wish to park in them, but don’t forget that a fire engine is around one and a half car widths.”

“Ask yourself – have I left enough space for a fire engine to get through? Because every second can count when someone needs the help of the fire service.

“Bad or careless parking can delay fire engines and emergency vehicles from reaching serious incidents in your area – that could endanger your life and the lives of your families, friends and neighbours.

“The positioning of parked cars could just make the difference between the emergency services being able to save a life or not.”

So when parking, please:

  • park close to the kerb
  • park straight with wheels straight
  • fold in wing mirrors
  • in narrow streets only park on one side of the road (where possible)
  • obey the Highway Code and road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • do not park too close to corners or traffic calming measures
  • leave extra room at tight junctions
  • remember every second counts when someone needs our help
  • ask yourself: ‘Could I get through this space?’ If not a fire engine probably couldn’t either

Check out a wealth of safe parking and driving tips on the BRAKE website at

http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/ and how to get involved.