Should You Park in Front of a Fire Hydrant?

Most drivers in Perth WA are aware that they are likely to encounter a number of safety bollards on their journey around towns and cities. However, one type of bollard that often confuses drivers is the fire hydrant. Although technically not a bollard, hydrants do look like many models of permanent bollard, but if you park in front of one, you could be left with a hefty fine. So, here we will explore what a fire hydrant actually is and how you can identify one to avoid those costly parking fines.

The Extent of the Problem

Parking in front of a fire hydrant is a common issue in Western Australia, but it is also a nationwide problem. The main difficulty is in how fire hydrants are marked, as to the unsuspecting, they can simply appear to be ordinary bollards. Perth drivers are likely to encounter hydrant points throughout the metropolitan area, but parking in front of a hydrant is considered an obstruction.

The Fire Hydrant Basics

Most fire hydrant points are embedded into public roads, and they have a plug cover that is approximately 20 x 20 centimetres. Unfortunately, most hydrant points are almost invisible to motorists unless you are looking very carefully.
The authorities have a practice of marking the roadway adjacent to a hydrant with an “H” painted in white. They further mark the kerb with a blob of white paint. Unfortunately, if you’re unfamiliar with this particular symbol, it can appear that the road has been marked in preparation for roadway repair.
In W.A, the issue appears to be that the Department of Fire and Emergency Services and the subcontracted municipal councils don’t appear to have a published code relating to the identification of hydrants. This means that driving code handbooks also fail to indicate what actually constitutes fire hydrant markings. So, while locals familiar with the area are likely to be aware of the situation, if you’re new to Perth or travel a lot, it can be very confusing.

The Penalties

Road Traffic Code 2000 (WA) sets out the parking offense regarding hydrants. Regulation 163 (1) states that drivers cannot stop their vehicle so that any part of the vehicle is within a metre of a fire plug, fire hydrant or any mark or signage denoting a hydrant. If the matter is dealt with by a parking ticket, the penalty is one penalty unit or a $50 fine. If the matter goes to court, you could find yourself facing a $1200 fine or a maximum of 24 penalty units.

So, if you’re driving in the Perth area, you need to be on the alert for fire hydrants. Fire hydrants typically resemble a bollard with an upright pipe that has a nozzle, spout or other type of outlet, but this may be hidden under a cap. So, keep on the lookout and if you find a great parking spot, be sure to check for a hydrant before you walk away from your vehicle.

If you would like to find out more about bollards, Perth consumers should speak to us. We offer a wide choice of bollards and barriers including safety bollards. The Image Bollards team are on hand to answer any queries.