This most recent poor excuse for a snowstorm left a bitter taste in the mouths of many New Bedford residents, not to mention their wallets.

Some 550 people were punished for failing to adhere to the city's parking ban and were ticketed. The City of New Bedford pocketed a cool $27,500. Not bad, considering it barely even snowed. When are folks going to learn?

Many folks were pretty ticked off at the Mitchell Administration on Tuesday, demanding that the fines be waived because of the lack of snow. But Mitchell hung tough and refused to pardon the violators. Good.

The parking ban is implemented for a reason. We have narrow streets in many jam-packed neighborhoods where plowing can be very difficult when people do not comply with the parking ban. Vehicles buried in snowbanks on both sides of those streets can make it difficult if not impossible for emergency vehicles to navigate and could interfere with first responder's efforts to save lives. It's common sense.

Some argue they should have been able to return to their regular parking spaces before the ban had been lifted because there was little or no snow to contend with. That's not the way laws work. When a parking ban is implemented, parking is prohibited until it is lifted – period. What is so hard to understand?

Parking bans are implemented only a handful of times during the entire year. It's not too much to ask for people to cooperate since it could save a life. Maybe your life or the life of someone you know.

For those who refuse to learn about parking bans or chose not to adhere to them, I hope you enjoy paying your fine.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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