How Close Can You Park to a Stop Sign?
Street parking can be limited and tough to find in many cities. There will be instances where you see an open curb in front of a stop sign. Is that a good place to park? Will you get towed? These are questions that can run through any driver’s mind who is looking for a good place to park. How close can you legally park to a stop sign and not get in trouble?
In the United States, the regulation states that no vehicle can park within 30 feet of a stop sign. Parking within 30 feet of any stop sign is technically illegal. Unlike many road rules, this is a rule that is the same in all 50 states, making it an easy rule to remember.
Why Can’t You Park Close to a Stop Sign?
Regulators are worried that vehicles that are parked too close to a stop sign will impede the view of the sign from other drivers. If a driver cannot properly see a marked stop sign, it can lead to an extremely dangerous situation. Running an intersection is one of the easiest ways to get into an accident.
If a stop sign is blocked and a driver runs the intersection, it can lead to loss of property, injury, or even loss of life. In addition, a car blocking the stop sign could be held liable for damages resulting from an accident depending on the results of the police report and local state laws.
What Happens If You Park Too Close to a Stop Sign?
If you park too close to a stop sign, one of two things can happen. First, you could get a parking ticket. Parking tickets can range anywhere from $30 to $300, depending on the severity and the local jurisdiction. Second, your car could be towed. If your car is deemed to be causing a hazard by blocking the view of the stop sign, you are likely to be towed in order to clear the road and remove the safety hazard. When your car is towed, it will be taken to a local sanctioned impound lot and held until the owner shows up and has it released in person. Getting a car out of impound can be a lengthy and expensive process.
How Do You Know If You’re Within 30 Feet of a Stop Sign?
The typical length of an average car is around 15 feet. That means that to determine the distance to a nearby stop sign, you should account for about two car lengths. In many areas, the space in front of a stop sign will be marked with lines on the ground or a painted curb. Never park in an area with a yellow or red curb because those areas are marked as prohibited. Similarly, do not park in an area with diagonal lines that run from the curb to the shoulder line. Some stop signs have NO PARKING signs that are posted 30 feet from the intersection that clearly define the areas that are off-limits to parking.
Before parking near a stop sign, look around for one of the multiple signs and warnings that are often present. If you do not see any of these helpful guides, then maintain a distance of at least two car lengths to the nearest stop sign.
Other Signs to Avoid
The 30 feet law also applies to other signs that govern road behavior. You must maintain 30 feet of distance from yield signs, flashing traffic markers, and stop lights in addition to stop signs. Anything that tells a driver to stop or slow down must be treated the same way. The reason for this is the same reason for the rules governing distance to the stop sign; impeding the view of a yield sign, flashing traffic signal, or stop light could be extremely dangerous and disastrous.
The law of the land dictates that drivers maintain at least 30 feet of distance from a stop sign when parking. In order to help drivers, many towns have clear markers that give you a visual indication that parking is not allowed in the area around a stop sign. If there are no present markers, use the general rule of thumb of two car lengths from the stop sign to be safe. Parking too close to a stop sign can be extremely dangerous and lead to fines, tickets, or even being towed.
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