Eastern Iowa cities ticket snowed in cars - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Eastern Iowa cities ticket snowed in cars

By John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) - Winter weather can make the simplest task a dreaded chore, like moving your car ten feet. Cedar Falls police are ticketing cars that have not moved in the past 48 hours. If the car hasn't moved 24 hours later police will call the tow truck.

Two years ago University of Northern Iowa student Chris Chapman's car was towed while he was out of town.

"I thought it was stolen. I was panicked ya know, having no idea what happened to it. I had no previous notice. I'm not even sure I had a ticket," Chapman said.

Police say the snowed in cars are a safety hazard for other drivers and emergency and city vehicles.

"If the street department or public works is not able to get their blade up close to the curb line and stuff piles up, which means the vehicles are going to be out in the street and that makes it a smaller passing area," Captain Mike Hayes of the Cedar Falls Police Department said.

"I think after three or four chances to inform the person then maybe tow it.  Maybe give them a little more chance but just to do it and take the rug out from under their feet is a little unfair," Chapman said.

Police say moving these cars is the only way to protect lives and property on these very treacherous side streets. 

"Right now all the streets are icy because of all the snow that we've had and it's packed down. People need to slow down or they're going to end up in a ditch or in an accident and we don't want that," Captain Hayes said.     

Each city handles the snowed in vehicle problem a little differently.

In Dubuque, police had handed out only one or two $10 tickets.

It'll also cost you $10 in Waterloo, which didn't say how many tickets police have written.

Cedar Rapids also hasn't kept tabs on the number of tickets.  However, one ticket would cost you $25 dollars plus towing fees.

In Iowa City has not declared a snow emergency so no tickets have been given out, when they do it will cost you $10.

Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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