Police remind Utahns not to park on streets when winter storms approach

BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- Parking your car on the side of the street could cost you. Police officers are out ticketing people who are leaving their cars on the curb before the storm rolls in.

“The citizens have gotten a little complacent,” said Lt. Troy Killian, Bountiful City Police Department.

A car here, an SUV there, and, if left overnight, drivers will wake up to a note from police.

“The last couple nights we've had our officers out ticketing those on the street,” Killian said.

That's because police don't want cars to sit curbside and covered in snow Saturday morning once the storm rolls in.

“Any snow plow driver will tell you when a snow storm comes, those cars parked on the streets cause more problems than they like to deal with,” Killian said.

Not only will your car be lost in a snow mound that you have to dig out, but the plows could damage your car. It's a nuisance for you and everyone else because even one car on the road makes it nearly impossible for plows to properly clear the pavement.

“If they can't get around the snow doesn’t get effectively removed, and it leads to crashes, wrecks, people getting stuck—all those issues,” Killian said.

Those are problems police saw during the last snow storm. Because of the warmer winter and lack of snow, police think people are forgetting to move their cars when a storm hits.

“It hasn't only been cars, it's been boats, RVs and trailers that normally you don’t see on the street during the winter, those have also been out there,” Killian said.

Most cities across the valley have winter street parking restrictions. Some give warnings, while other areas go straight to tickets.

Bountiful Police tried to warn their residents on social media, posting: “If your vehicle is on the street your chances of getting a citation or woken up in the middle of the night are higher than normal.”

Dustin commented, "Thank you. While we are at it can we ticket people who throw their driveway snow into the already plowed street? #PetPeeve”

And Jordan wrote, "Wish they would do this in parts of South South Lake. So frustrating when there are cars lined up down the road..."

And in some cases police will have those cars on the road towed.

“If we have to we will remove a car if a snow plow is blocking the street. We don't want to but we have to,” Killian said.

We've heard reports of people getting ticketed in Ogden, Salt Lake City, Provo and most places in between. Since police will likely be busy with accidents during the storm, that code enforcement will happen Friday night.