Q: Can you drive across Lines in a Parking Lot?

(Last Updated On: June 14, 2013)


Should you? That’s the question.

Parking lots come in as the second most common place where collisions occur (after intersections). These aren’t collisions where cars are bursting into flames. But, reducing or eliminating these would be nice.

What do we have in parking lots, aside from parked cars? People walking, children, dogs, shopping carts, cement, posts; other cars reversing and going forward at a frequent rate, unpredictable speeds, unpredictable situations, and poor visibility when reversing out of a space (poor visibility in general).

There’s a lot going on here. Driving over the lines in a parking lot (i.e. driving in a diagonal fashion across the parking lot, driving not conforming to the lanes) is not recommended. There is no law against driving over the lines here. However, other drivers (and other people in general) may not be able to see you or anticipate you. This can turn into unwanted surprises. Surprises are generally not good when driving!

People have a lot to think about, and adding an extra component of traffic cutting across lines and “appearing suddenly” will not help the overall level of safety for everyone in parking lots.

If you’re in an empty parking lot, and it won’t matter to anybody if you drive over the lines, then go for it if you must (carefully of course). Consider where the entrances are into the parking lot and consider any other blind or hidden driveways or areas where you may be surprising someone. Just because there’s no one else here at a particular moment, doesn’t mean they won’t be there in two seconds; keep that in mind… It’s a public space isn’t it? We must share and we must anticipate fellow humans!

Stay in the lanes whenever possible. Being predictable is just one of the many characteristics of a habitually safe driver.

Many moons ago, Carmen became an ICBC-approved driving instructor at the age of 22 in North Vancouver, and has spent many years working with new and experienced drivers around the lower mainland. She can be found reading the Motor Vehicle Act for fun while receiving strange looks from others. May the quest for great driving continue!

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  • Eric Stuckey

    Way to not answer the question. I don’t care what anyone says…you are a jerk.

    • I guess there’s no official rule about it. You can do whatever you want.. i won’t follow you around and check your driving 😉