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Burnham Coastal Mummy blogger Rebecca Fisher warns bad parking could risk someone's life

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Currently in the UK, there are 35.9 million people that hold a full UK driving license but all it takes for one of those people to make a bad parking decision and it could risk someone's life.

A few weeks ago, we had a traumatic experience where my 7-year-old disabled brother became very poorly in the night. An ambulance was called. Calling an ambulance is an already scary situation but you know that help is on its way.

It is on its way until it isn’t, due to how cars are parked.

Coastal Mummy Rebecca Fisher and brother Rory Taylor June 2022.
Coastal Mummy Rebecca Fisher and brother Rory Taylor June 2022.

The ambulance that was attending my brother got stuck and couldn’t get through to the house as someone had double parked their car. This resulted in my brother being carried down the road to the ambulance. Someone’s decision risked a life.

Some of Norfolk’s villages have a high percentage of holiday cottages. Where I live being one of them. Norfolk is a very popular place for people to visit and when people visit, they don’t know the area. It was someone who was renting a holiday cottage that blocked the road for my brother.

Now, it isn’t always people visiting on holiday, some people just make really bad mistakes. Using the word mistake is probably the wrong word to use and this ‘mistake’ could cost someone their life.

Rory, 7, has Down's Syndrome and other conditions such as Hirschsprung's disease.
Rory, 7, has Down's Syndrome and other conditions such as Hirschsprung's disease.

It isn’t a case of just parking a car and saying ‘oh, that is ok’ or ‘I think there is enough room’. Causing an obstruction to an emergency vehicle such an ambulance or fire engine is a crime and the punishment for this is a fine. The Emergency Works (Obstruction) Act 2006 states that someone can be fined up to £5,000 for obstructing an emergency vehicle.

The real punishment though would be the awful feeling of knowing that someone’s life could have been lost because of one bad silly decision on where to park the car or van.

In most situations, there isn’t time to wait for the police to come along and find the car owner to move the car. So what are the options?

Paramedics shouldn’t have to leave an ambulance and run down the road to the patient’s home and the patient shouldn’t have to be carried to the ambulance. What happens if the patient can’t be carried or if the paramedics can’t leave the ambulance down the road? Then there is the matter of a fire engine. A fire engine needs to get through to the emergency. They have no other option.

Before parking, double check that there is room for emergency services. Remind people from time to time about what can happen if an ambulance or fire engine can’t reach the house or patient. Be aware of surroundings. One bad decision can change a life.

My brother is now at home and recovering. It will take him a little while to be back to his old self. It was such a scary situation that I hope no one else has to experience.

Rebecca Fisher

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