Trying to find a parking spot in the city can be frustrating, so if you see a bit of space in front of a stop sign, you may be tempted to risk it and pull in. But how far can you park from a stop sign?
Every state in the US has the same law stating that you cannot park your car within 30 feet of a stop sign. If you do so, you’ll risk getting a ticket.
After a while, it’s easy to get frustrated and start thinking about pulling into that little bit of space by a stop sign on the corner.
After all, parking near a stop sign isn’t harming anyone, right? So why aren’t you allowed to park within 30 feet of a stop sign, what are the consequences if you do so anyway? Read on to learn more.
How Far Can You Park From a Stop Sign?
Normally, traffic laws vary widely throughout the US, with many states and cities having slightly different laws and rules. However, In the case of the minimum distance you can park your car from a stop sign, every state has the same law.
No matter where in the US you are, you must park at least 30 feet away from the stop sign. In some cases, the 30-foot distance may be painted in yellow or red on the curb where the stop sign is to show drivers exactly how far away they need to park.
Why Aren’t You Allowed To Park Within 30 Feet Of a Stop Sign?
Despite being something that most of us don’t really think about, stop signs are incredibly important for preventing accidents and keeping people, both in cars and on the street, safe.
They warn drivers of upcoming intersections and crosswalks and also let the driver know that they should give the right of way to the other drivers or pedestrians on the street.
Because they play such an important role in managing traffic and keeping people safe, state and local governments need them to stick out and be as visible as possible.
Parking in front of a stop sign may block drivers’ views and cause them to miss the sign and potentially cause an accident.
Even if the driver does see the stop sign, if a big car is parked in front of the sign on a corner of a busy street, it could make it a lot harder for the driver to see oncoming traffic or pedestrians crossing the street, again increasing the likelihood of an accident.
Even though it may initially seem like a pointless rule, prohibiting cars from parking too close to stop signs is a vital rule that can help make streets and intersections much safer for all the drivers and pedestrians that use them.
What Are The Consequences Of Parking In Front Of a Stop Sign?
Besides potentially causing a dangerous situation by making it difficult for drivers to see the stop sign and oncoming traffic, there are plenty of other reasons that you probably don’t want to park too close to a stop sign.
First of all, because it is against the law, if you park too close to a stop sign and a police officer comes by, you’ll most definitely get a ticket, and your car may even get towed. While the fine on the ticket may vary depending on where you are, you can expect to pay anywhere between $30 and $300 just for that.
However, getting a ticket is one thing, but having your car towed is completely different. If you park in front of a stop sign and get towed, not only will you have to find some other way to get home, you’ll have to go out of your way to get to the impound where you’ll potentially have to pay hundreds of dollars just to get your car back. However, this isn’t even the worst-case scenario.
In some states and cities, if a car is blocking a stop sign and an accident happens, the owner of the car that was blocking it may end up being liable for the damages, meaning that you could end up paying thousands of dollars in medical and auto repair bills for those who were involved in the accident.
While this isn’t always the case in every state, there’s no doubt that, even if you are having a lot of trouble finding a place to park your car, parking too close to a stop sign should be avoided at all costs.
What Are Some Other Common Places You Aren’t Allowed to Park?
Now that you know how close you are allowed to park to a stop sign and why the rule exists in the first place, are there any other parking rules that you should be aware of to avoid getting a ticket?
Of course, there are plenty, however, they are usually really easy to follow. For instance, If the curb is painted, no matter whether yellow or red, it’s safe to assume that you can’t park there. No parking and limited parking signs on the street are also usually very easy to spot and specific about if you can park or not.
Another big thing you should be aware of is that parking in front of fire hydrants is also illegal everywhere as you could potentially block the fire department from accessing it in the case of an emergency.
Key Takeaways to How Far You Can Park From a Stop Sign
You cannot park within 30 feet of a stop sign in every state in the US.
This rule exists because parking your car in front of a stop sign may prevent other drivers from seeing it and potentially cause an accident.
If you park in front of a stop sign you could get a ticket, have your car towed, or be liable for the damages from any potential accident.
Painted curbs, street signs, and fire hydrants are all good indicators of where you can an can’t park.