HAVERHILL — Snow may not be falling yet, but residents are expected to act like it when parking their cars at night.
The annual winter overnight parking ban goes into effect Monday.
It requires people who park on the street at night to leave their cars on the even-numbered side for the rest of November and all of December, and park on the odd-numbered side in January. Parking switches back to the even-numbered side in February and then to the odd-numbered side in March.
Vehicles must be left on the proper side of the street anytime after 6 p.m. until the next morning. The rule is subject to change with an announcement by city officials when there is a snow emergency.
The rule exists so when it snows, plows can pass through streets smoothly, without vehicles parked on either side of the street causing disruption, and also so emergency vehicles such as fire trucks can travel through.
People who fail to follow the rule can be fined $25 and have their vehicle towed at an additional cost.
In recent years, residents who park their vehicles on the street have complained about the city putting the rule into effect before the snow begins to fall. Officials say they start the rule early in the season so residents get into the habit of parking on the proper side of the street.
Police typically give out warnings instead of fines to rule-breakers early in the season.