Police in St. John's are getting strict on motorists parking illegally in blue zone parking spaces, as well as fire lanes in front of retail zones.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary handed out a total of 688 tickets over a three-week period, ranging from $20 to $400, to drivers violating a number of parking laws as part of Operation Firecap.

Sgt. Brian Gosse said most drivers ticketed for parking illegally in these zones didn't have a good reason for doing so.

"The most common reason for being parked there when asked, they say they're only parked there for a minute," Gosse said. 

"But what they don't realize is that the minute that they're parked there the vehicles that are passing by may be looking for a blue zone, and because they're occupying the spot they have to go somewhere else or leave the premises altogether."

Crackdown welcomed

Kelly White, the executive director of the Coalition for Persons with Disabilities, welcomed the crackdown. 

RNC Sgt. Brian Gosse

RNC Sgt. Brian Gosse says residents in St. John's were vocal with officers in their support of the crackdown on people illegally parked in blue zones and fire lanes. (CBC)

She said there are a number of reasons people need appropriate access to the blue zone spaces, and it's good that the RNC is cracking down on people abusing or misusing the spots.

"For persons with disabilities, it's very important that when they go out they can access a wide space, a space that's close to the front entrance, a curb cut so they can get up over it and that people are not abusing the spaces because what it does, is it impedes access and inclusion for persons with disabilities in our community," said White.

According to Gosse, the police effort hasn't gone unnoticed by the public, either.

He said officers were pleased to find that members of the public would approach them and thank them for enforcing parking rules for law breakers.

"The feedback I got from our members was quite positive. They'd be checking the zones, issuing tickets, and people have been coming up to the police cars and telling them how great [it is] to see them doing it."

Gosse said the RNC will continue to monitor these spots after the operation to try to cut down on illegal parking in these specific spots.