[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown 12-15-1980 by Ord. No. 783, approved 12-15-1980. Amendments noted where applicable.]
In Middletown there are fire lanes, with a minimum width of 11 feet, duly marked with red lines and posted with no-parking signs, at such representative places as the Church of God, Essex House, Genesis Court, Hemlock Hall, Holly Hall, Interfaith Apartments, Midtown Plaza, the Moose Building and Frey Village Center.
For years, authorization therefor appeared in the duly adopted Fire Prevention Code recommended by the American Insurance Association, successor to the National Board of Fire Underwriters, most recently in the edition of 1970 at page 209 in Section 28.16, headed "Fire Lanes on Private Property, Devoted to Public Use" and providing as follows:
"a. The marking of fire lanes on private property devoted to public use, shall be approved by the Chief of the Bureau of Fire Prevention and the Chief of Police."
"b. Parking of motor vehicles or otherwise obstructing fire lanes shall be prohibited at all times."
Such fire lanes were applicable (see page 247) "where the parking of motor vehicles or other obstructions may interfere with the ingress and egress of Fire Department vehicles for the protection of persons and property, such as at shopping centers, bowling lanes, theaters, hospitals, churches and similar locations."
While it has recently been discovered that such authorization inadvertently lapsed with the adoption of the BOCA Basic Fire Prevention Code by the former Middletown Code of Ordinances, Chapter VIII, Section 18, enforcement has continued, and continuing compliance has confirmed the teachings or experience evidenced also by Fire Lane Ordinance No. 1975-9 in adjoining Lower Swatara Township, that the designation of fire lanes is necessary in the public interest whenever it appears that parking congestion may create a hazard by impeding the free movement of firefighting equipment on public or private property.
The Chief Fire Marshal shall have the power to designate fire lanes anywhere within the Borough of Middletown, on public or private property, where he deems that parking congestion may create a hazard by impeding the free movement of firefighting equipment. In formulating such designations, he shall consult with the Chief of Police and may consult with but shall report in writing to the appropriate committee of the Borough Council. Such fire lanes, length determined by the Fire Marshal's office, shall be marked with red lines in such a fashion as to indicate their location and posted with no-parking signs. Parking of motor vehicles or otherwise obstructing fire lanes shall be prohibited at all times. Existing fire lanes and no-parking signs are hereby confirmed, validated and approved.
The Chief Fire Marshal shall prescribe and issue all forms necessary for the administration of this chapter and may adopt and enforce regulations relating to any matter pertaining to the administration thereof, including but not limited to the imposition and collection of fines for violations. The Chief Fire Marshal may designate his office and assistants, the Borough police, the private property owner's security force, the fire police and other persons to enforce all provisions concerning fire lanes, either singly or conjunction with some or all others named or alluded to.
[Amended 5-3-2004 by Ord. No. 1178, approved 5-3-2004]
Any person who parks or permits to be parked a motor vehicle within a fire lane or otherwise obstructs a fire lane violates these provisions for fire lanes and shall be subject to penalties as herein described. A fine in an amount set forth in a fee schedule setting fees and charges as approved by resolution of Borough Council shall be imposed for each violation and shall be collected by the Chief Fire Marshal or by a ticketing procedure whereby the fine may be paid at the Middletown Emergency Operations Center or other designated place of payment. If payment is not made within 48 hours, the fine shall be increased to an amount set forth in said fee schedule. If the fine is not paid within 10 days, the Chief Fire Marshal, or a Borough police officer authorized by the Chief Fire Marshal, shall prosecute the violator before a District Justice. If such prosecution is necessary, the violator shall, upon conviction, pay a fine set forth in said fee schedule, plus costs. In default of payment of such fine and costs, the violator may be sentenced to imprisonment in the Dauphin County Jail or other appropriate prison for not more than 30 days.