If youve shoveled snow into the street in Norwalk recently, theres a chance youve met Cesar Ramirez. Thats because the Norwalk police officer has been out enforcing the citys snow regulations.
Friday the unflappable Ramirez spoke about the behavior of people he fined for violating city ordinances. "They were really surprised to know there is a city ordinance that prohibits pushing the snow [into the street]," he said. "Everybody was really sorry about it. They completely apologized."
Violations are punishable by fines of $100 or $250. Ramirez said he caught about 20 citizens and about four private plow operators beginning to put snow where it would cause a problem for others. Catching them as they got started was a good thing, as most got away with warnings. Four got $100 fines.
One guy operating a plow was driving without a license. That made his fine total $258. The man was told to get out of his truck and his boss had to come get him.
Putting snow in a city street creates a hazard, Ramirez said, but he was reluctant to hand out tickets because "the economy is very difficult" and people were uniformly apologetic. Most people he talked to were agreeable. "The majority of the people are very impressed with how the city responded," he said of efforts to clear the streets.
He also stopped a driver who had cleared just enough snow from his windshield so he could see to drive. He hadn't cleared the back window or the side windows because he wanted to get to work. "I said, 'I'm sorry, sir. Either you're going to be late or you're going to get a serious ticket now. Because I don't want you to hurt somebody or yourself," the officer said. With a potential $100 fine as motivation, the man cleared the windows. It took five minutes.
Did you see someone pushing snow into the street? Did you wish there was a cop nearby? Comment below.
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