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

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I don’t think there’s a law against it….

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.


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3 thoughts on “Q: Can you drive across Lines in a Parking Lot?”

  1. While the police normally don’t enforce traffic violations in mall parking lots for example, private security in some areas can and will issue you fines. Also if your joyriding in a private lot, the police can and will cite you for trespassing, and once you are trespassing the lot in no longer private and the police can and will get you on any traffic violations you may have committed. This happens with motorcycles all the time, they think they can joyride and do stunts, once reported by the mall or store, the cops will come and may even seize your bike. Also if its after regular ho iui rs of operation, many states now have probable cause to come into the lot, or have a standing order with the owner to come on and beware your actions are now enforceable. Another kicker is you have to read the signs posted many places will tow you at your expense for your violations parking and or driving. The lot is not your property, and is considered a public space so your actions can be regulated!

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