Newport is amending its 72-hour parking law to prevent disabled vehicles from staying on the streets for an extended time.
The new law will require vehicles to be moved at least 50 feet. The current parking ordinance allows people to move their cars inches after 72 hours.
“We watch 72-hour parking, so our streets don’t become parking lots,” Newport Police Chief Christopher Fangman said.
Newport City Manager Tom Fromme said people have learned how to beat the system, and the city is trying to find a way to make the law more efficient for police and residents.
Fromme said that sometimes these cars are a nuisance. He said that the police come into contact with many vehicles that cannot operate, “that’s why you see people out here pushing them one inch or two inches or whatever the case may be.”
Because people will now have to move their vehicles, Fangman said it would show that the car is functioning and not a disabled vehicle stuck on the street for an extended time.
The police department will take into account when people are on vacation, Fromme said.
Newport Assistant City Attorney John Hayden said that due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision several years ago, police are no longer allowed to mark tires, which makes it challenging to track dilapidated vehicles.
“This has been a complicated issue for many years,” Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli Jr. said. “I know that you, as a police department, have come up with many strategies over the years, and unfortunately, the marking of tires was probably the most efficient one. Having that thrown out as an opportunity makes this difficult, so we’re moving on to the next step.”