A WARNING has been issued to drivers in Chard that parking illegally could cause serious injury - or worse.

Response officer PC Chris Williams has noticed a serious problem with vehicles parking on the pelican crossings in High Street and Fore Street.

Despite the offence being punishable with a £100 fine and three penalty points even after parking there for just a second, PC Williams has witnessed many instances.

He said: “Drivers seem to have no concern for the dangers of parking within the zig-zag area, and I can see it will end up with a serious injury to a pedestrian.

“You can’t see any traffic coming unless you’re in the middle of the road when someone’s parked there.

“Regarding deliveries, we appreciate that people have to do their jobs, but someone’s going to get seriously injured or worse, and most shops have delivery bays at the rear.

“Exceptions can be made in an emergency, but that doesn’t even cover breaking down or running out of petrol if it’s deemed avoidable.

“It doesn’t matter what excuse people give – the law says you can’t park there even for a second.

“It’s treated the same as other serious traffic offences, such as going through a red light, because it’s so dangerous.

“If you pass your driving test you should know the Highway Code, and it’s there in black and white.”

Cllr Jill Shortland, who represents Chard South on the county council, has received complaints about the problem and witnessed it at first hand.

Vehicles parked across part or all of the pavement can cause particular difficulties for vulnerable people, such as the elderly, the disabled and parents with pushchairs.

Cllr Shortland said: “The problem occurs during deliveries and for many other reasons, but drivers need to remember that though cars might be able to get through pedestrians might not be able to.

“You need to be aware that when you park there you may be preventing someone else from being able to pass on the pavement, and they may be elderly or in a mobility scooter.

“It shouldn’t be necessary for people to go round parked vehicles, and I’m sure if drivers knew they were putting people at serious risk by forcing them into the path of oncoming drivers they wouldn’t park so thoughtlessly.”