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EDITORIAL: Find a proper parking spot; the fish will wait

['Inside Joe LeBlanc’s ice fishing shack.']
['Inside Joe LeBlanc’s ice fishing shack.']

Queens District RCMP issued a public reminder this week that anglers can be fined $100 to $500 for interfering with vehicle traffic on public roadways.

Their warning was directed at sports fishermen who park their vehicles on bridges or approaches to bridges, so they can get as close as possible to their fishing hole.

It’s not uncommon for those vehicles to take up part of the travelled portion of the roadway, and to be left there for hours. And the same vehicles might be back there the next day.

Getting close to the fishing hole is one thing; obstructing traffic flow for that luxury is something else.

But it’s not just sports fishermen who do this. Yard sale shoppers are quite famous for it, too, and, like the big fish that might get away if the fisherman doesn’t get there fast enough, some of those early-morning shoppers practically bolt from their vehicles, eyes fixed on the prize, without even noticing traffic approaching in either direction.  

Neither the fish nor the yard sale purchase is worth the fine that could come from illegal parking.

The solution is quite simple. Find the time and the distance to park in a safe location, well off the roadway. Surely, the fish won’t mind waiting.

Not only is there a need for some people to rethink where they park their vehicles, there should also be more careful thought put into where to place signs about concerts, yard sales, picnics and other events being promoted by such means. If those homemade signs interfere with drivers’ ability to see up or down the road when they are exiting a parking lot or pulling out from an intersection, they could be accidents waiting to happen.

Plus, those who place their vehicles or signs in locations that obstruct traffic or visibility, could open themselves up to a liability claim.

If a fisherman can navigate an embankment, weave through brush and even cross shallow streams to get to a prime fishing hole, he can find an acceptable parking spot.

It is understandable that persons with mobility challenges would want to be as close as possible to the fishing hole, but the free flow of traffic still needs to be maintained. A common courtesy would be for sport fishers – or yard sale shoppers, house party guests or anyone assembling at any location – to leave the nearest spaces for those with mobility challenges.

Of course, there still remains a necessity for all drivers to be on the lookout for parked vehicles, whether they are parked legally or not, and to be aware of the possibility that a pedestrian might step out from between parked vehicles at any time or a driver might exit a vehicle.

Safety is everyone’s business.

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