What to do with parked cars when cleaning roofs?

In winter, roof cleaning work is often hampered by vehicles parked outside homes. Kaspars Ķikusts,  an industrial climber, contacted the 4. studija broadcast of Latvian Television inquiring about ways to tackle the issue, the broadcast reported on January 3.

Ķikusts had received a task of a house manager to remove icicles from the roof of a house in Rīga'as Sarkandaugava district. His work was obstacled by the cars left on the street, but there was no way to find out who the car owners were and how to contact them.

Ķikusts said local government police last year called the owner of the vehicle and informed them it was necessary to move the vehicle, but not this year.

“We need to make sure that there are no cars for the moment it's cleaned up. Of course, the street cleaners cordon the area off to keep people away, but there will always be someone who thinks – I'll park it here now. We cannot do our job because the icicles are just above the entrance,“ said Ķikusts.

Riga Municipal Police spokesperson Toms Sadovskis explained that the phone number of the owner of the vehicle is not always available. There also tend to be cases where the car is registered in a company's name and the number provided belongs to an employee who, for example, cannot be contacted on a holiday.

“Situations can be many and varied,” Sadovskis said. “Of course, as far as possible, we are also responding to such requests and trying to help, but guaranteeing that this driver can be reached within a couple of minutes is impossible.”

Municipal police do not have a database of phone numbers of all vehicle owners. On the other hand, the Road Traffic Safety Directorate (CSDD) stated that they do not have the right to give even municipal police the telephone numbers of vehicle owners – this is not lawful.

The Department of Outdoor Space and Mobility of Riga City Council said that if it is necessary to block the street or install parking prohibition signs, it is preferable to inform the department in writing about five days prior to the planned snow clearing work.

“If there is a need to block this part of the pavement completely or there is some sort of huge roof where these works will be long, then you will have to turn to the municipality by now to coordinate the street blockage, and then appropriate road signs will be deployed that can also warn about the evacuation of cars,” Sadovskis said.

Therefore, the operator or the performer must display an information sign in good time when roof cleaning works are planned. If, after several days, vehicles have not been moved, local government police must be called, who will further arrange for the vehicle to be evacuated.

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