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City of Yuma: Don’t block police & fire entrances

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The City of Yuma added street lane markings and signage overnight to help motorists avoid blocking firefighters and police from responding to emergency situations.

In 30 days, those who don't comply could get fined.

"You’ll start to see this white box with a big 'X' in it, and we’re starting our campaign of ‘Don’t Block the Box,'" said Yuma Fire Captain David Padilla Jr.

The city marked 5 station entrances including Giss Parkway and two on 16th street.

The Yuma Fire Department says traffic backs up in front of these entrances, affecting how fast first responders arrive to emergency situations.

"Seconds matter when it comes to an emergency," said Captain Padilla Jr. "So it’s important that our firetrucks have a clear lane and a clear path for both the fire truck and the ambulance to leave the station and start responding to emergencies."

Yuma firefighter EMT Mark D McLeod pitched the idea to the city.

"It’s gotten to the point where I have felt like our response has become affected with the afternoon traffic, morning traffic, and school proximity traffic, and any time we have to spend to negate traffic obstacles is time that we're not with our patients," said firefighter McLeod, "And that’s very important to us."

The city says the blockage often happens during school pick-up and drop off hours for stations located on intersections near school campuses.

The markers are designed to help remind drivers to avoid stopping in front of stations and to keep the lanes of travel open.

“We want our ambulance and firetrucks to be able to get out of the barn quickly, get on the road, and get to their responses," said Captain Padilla Jr. "Just leave a little gap between you and the vehicle in front of you, and that will allow the firetrucks and ambulance to get out and get out the way in an event of an emergency.”

The city says that after a 30-day grace period, any motorists blocking a fire exit, according to the city code, could be issued a fine and court fees.

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Danyelle Burke North

Danyelle Burke North joined the KYMA team in March 2024 as a reporter.

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