View Full Version : Can you get a parking ticket for having your car parked facing traffic?

spark applied to powder
01-10-2001, 08:34 PM
On the one hand, it seems to be a dead giveaway that you crossed the centerline to do it.
On the other hand, it's very common in some places, like residential streets and dead-ends that are so narrow you have to drive in the middle and "take turns" pulling off into driveways when someone approaches.

Has anyone here actually gotten such a ticket?

01-10-2001, 08:39 PM
I believe I have seen someone ticketed for such an infraction. Most municipalities would declare such a thing illegal, especially on wide streets.

01-10-2001, 08:46 PM
Yes in Saskatchewan it is an offense, they refer to it as parking wrong wheel to the curb.


01-10-2001, 08:46 PM
I was, and was quite upset about it.
Takoma Park ticketed me for parking the wrong way on a tiny street back of our school that is in name only a public street (school property on both sides).
The annoying thing is, is that I parked there due to a special request from the Dean that night that students with cars move them to the street to make parking in the lot available for a large conference.
I hate being ticketed for altruism...

Bob Scene
01-10-2001, 09:32 PM
I got a parking ticket for parking facing traffic here in Austin, on a tiny backwater residential street on a Saturday night when it was raining really hard. I guess the cops here don't have anything better to do. Fortunately, the cop wrote my license number wrong on the ticket so I didn't have to pay it.

Arden Ranger
01-10-2001, 09:40 PM
It'll get you a ticket in Oklahoma. Neither wind, or rain, or ice or dead of night will stop them, even in front of your own house. I really should have known better. The cop was my next door neighbor's partner.

01-10-2001, 10:03 PM
I got one in college.

I was running late to class, and I saw an open space on the other side of the street. It was a narrow street, and I'd have to go to the nearest intersection to turn around and come back to it. By that time, someone else probably would've taken it. So I crossed the center and parallel parked in the space.

When I got back from class, I had a ticket for "parking on the wrong side of the road". :(

01-10-2001, 10:31 PM
You can, and I have been. In Boston.
But in hindsight, I deserved it. As a matter of safety.

If your car's parked in the opposite direction of traffic, it's more likely to not be seen at night. With the reflective tail lights naturally facing the opposite direction as well.

Making it legal during the daytime would be too confusing.

01-10-2001, 11:01 PM
Happened to me in New Hampshire. I parked my truck in front of my house so I could load up my possesions to move to Maine. I took a break for lunch before driving up here, and when I went out, there was a ticket on the windshield. I was sputtering mad until I realized I was moving out of state and they wouldn't catch me if I didn't pay.

01-11-2001, 04:00 AM
I haven't been booked for it, but the offence here is "not parked close and parallel to the kerb', ie if you're on the wrong side of the street you're not close to the gutter.

Adolph Peewee
01-11-2001, 07:38 AM
Never been booked for it. Although used to do it all the time outside of my school! only got a ticket for parking there too long, but it was declared void because the signs were wrong. One end of the parralell parking space said "3 hour limit" while the other said "Half hour limit" Go figure....that's South Australian Councils for you!

One of my dad's former Driver's was in Canberra unloading a load of furniture, with his semi parked on the wrong side of the road. Along came a Fed. copper (Down here, they also do the local policing in the nations capital!) and was going to take him in for it! Bit rich, he was just trying to do his job!

Bottle of Smoke
01-11-2001, 09:17 AM
I've been ticketed for it as well. I was loading things into my car, which I had parked the wrong way (I had backed out of a small driveway and just cozied up to the curb). I couldn't have been there more than about 5 minutes. On my second trip downstairs with an armload of stuff I saw the ticket on my windshield. Those Belleville, WI cops are speedy, the both of 'em.

01-11-2001, 09:35 AM
A neighbor back in Pennsy was ticketed for it. She used to park in front of her home, facing traffic, all the time. She wasn't all that popular among the neighbors so I wonder if someone called the police until they came out and ticketed her.

I've been told repeatedly that it isn't illegal here in Norway... by people who have just parked that way, needless to say. I don't know anyone who's ever been ticketed for it, not that this means much.

01-11-2001, 09:48 AM
When I was on vaction in London last month, I was wondering about the very same thing, as at least a third of the vehicles were parked against the flow of traffic on two way streets.
Here on Long Island, it's pretty rare to see vehicles parked the 'wrong way', since it's generally 'understood' [of course, without any actual NYS law cites] that it'll earn you a ticket.

01-11-2001, 10:21 AM
It doesn't seem to be against the law in Ireland, as everytime I go there there are tons of cars parked every which way. Seems a bit dangerous to me.


01-11-2001, 12:23 PM
My dad got a ticket for it once, in California. It was at like 8:00 on a Sunday morning, and he had run into a friend's house to drop something off -- maybe 3 minutes. He was so mad!

Here in Seattle, I park the "wrong way" all the time, as do my neighbors. The street is skinny, parking's allowed on one side only, and it's mostly apartments, so almost everyone has to park on the street. Also, it's on a relatively steep hill. No one's gotten a ticket yet, AFAIK. And given that there's a certain car that's been parked w/o moving for at least 5 months, even though I called the cops? I doubt we'll be getting tickets anytime soon. :rolleyes:

01-11-2001, 12:32 PM
In my "village" it's illegal. The rest of the town it's not. Whenever someone comes over my house I usually have to tell them to turn their car around so they don't get a ticket. These are all side streets so none of the streets have center lines on them. Most people find out the hard way, including myself. I live there and I didn't even know about it until I got a stupid $15 ticket.

01-11-2001, 12:50 PM
Yup, I got a ticket for parking facing traffic. It was on a small private street and I was in a rush to get to work so I found the first available spot. I had done it numerous times in the past on the same road with no problems. Everyone parks on that street parks where they feel. When I got back from work, I was ticketed. So were at least 7 other people! Apparently a cop saw it and realized that he hit paydirt. Needless to say I park facing traffic EVERYDAY outside my house....... don't turn me in :)

01-11-2001, 01:52 PM
California Vehicle Code (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/vc/vc.htm), Division 11, Chapter 9, Section 22502 (http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d11/vc22502.htm):

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter every vehicle stopped or parked upon a roadway where there are adjacent curbs shall be stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels of such vehicle parallel with and within 18 inches of the right-hand curb, except that motorcycles shall be parked with at least one wheel or fender touching the right-hand curb.

(e) Upon a one-way roadway, vehicles may be stopped or parked as provided in subdivision (a) or with the left-hand wheels parallel to and within 18 inches of the left-hand curb, except that motorcycles, if parked on the left-hand side, shall have either one wheel or one fender touching such curb.

The bolding is mine. They specifically mention that you can park on the left on 1-way streets, and restrict it to the right side of 2-way streets. Sounds to me like it really is illegal in California - YMMV in other states.

01-11-2001, 02:55 PM
I live on a street that loops, no center lane, driveways everywhere, space for one car at most between each set of driveways, alternate side parking because there isn't really room for two way traffic and two lanes of parked cars.

Parked one day facing the wrong way. Never occurred to me this was illegal on a street like mine.

Was ticketed, of course. But in the end I was happy enough...the ticket was NOT for the expired registration sticker, nor for the lack of a front license plate, but just a little seven-dollar jobbie. Could've been much worse.

01-11-2001, 04:36 PM
So we've pretty firmly established that the General Answer in the United States is "yes, it's illegal on 2-way streets," correct?

If someone has cites about other jurisdictions, please feel free to post them.

01-11-2001, 05:37 PM
I live in Phoenix and I see this everyday on my street and never seen a single ticket on any car.

The SO says (everytime :rolleyes: ) that this would get a ticket faster than you could get out of your car in Detroit.

01-11-2001, 06:52 PM
If I had headlights on the back of my car, would that make it legal to park facing the "other" way?

01-11-2001, 07:39 PM
Got nailed with one of those, yeah...

I was ticked about it, too:
It was a dead end street, approx. 20m from the end of the street which was a long way (read: 150m) from teh enarest intersection.

The intersecting road? A back access route to a College.
This was also in the middle of summer.

What the heck was the cop doing there in the first place?
('Making an example of me', I guess, is the right answer)

01-11-2001, 08:22 PM
For Illinois, http://www.legis.state.il.us/ilcs/ch625/ch625act5articles/ch625act5sub58.htm (bolding added by me):(625 ILCS 5/11-1304)
Sec. 11-1304. Additional parking regulations.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every vehicle stopped or parked upon a two-way roadway shall be so stopped or parked with the right-hand wheels parallel to and within 12 inches of the right-hand curb or as close as practicable to the right edge of the right-hand shoulder.

01-11-2001, 08:42 PM
When I was in Lismore, NSW, Australia recently, I found that it was illegal to park facing the curb. A local told me it was because it was considered too dangerous to back out into traffic. Just another stupid rule some bureaucrat with nothing better to do throught up because I don't think it's any more dangerous than pulling out into traffic head-first.

01-11-2001, 09:46 PM
Whenever I'm in Leon, Mexico, we routinely park on the wrong side of the street (it's usually more convenient), and so do all the Mexicans. There's not really any order at all.

As a bonus, the Transito (the transit police) don't really seem to enforce *anything* unless you're a commercial vehicle or doing something *really* stupid.

01-11-2001, 10:21 PM
From Massachusetts' Driver's Manual, 11/97, p.82:

In Massachusetts, you may NOT park your vehicle:

Facing the wrong way against traffic.

I bet it's the same across the US, and it's probably listed in the driver's manual of all states as well. I also bet I'm the only dork that actually read the driver's manual, all 131 pages of it, before even getting into the driver's seat...

01-12-2001, 07:46 AM
The only parking ticket I've ever had in my life was in Concorde, MA for parking facing against the traffic, during a two-week visit to the USA. I've never had a ticket in 13 years of driving in the UK.

Incidentally, I was impressed that I was able to go to the Town Hall and pay the fine immediately and get it over with. In the England everything would have been done in writing and would have taken weeks.

Adolph Peewee
01-12-2001, 08:26 AM
Originally posted by suziek
When I was in Lismore, NSW, Australia recently, I found that it was illegal to park facing the curb. A local told me it was because it was considered too dangerous to back out into traffic. Just another stupid rule some bureaucrat with nothing better to do throught up because I don't think it's any more dangerous than pulling out into traffic head-first.

here in South Australia, if the parks are not parallel, they are angle parks (ie: facing the kerb @ either 45 or 90 degree angles) and personally, I think it's silly. Especially the 90 degree parks!

A few people have lobbied various councils to change to reverse parking, but it must be too hard to change or something, because it never happens. you're right, it is just another stupid rule.

HOWEVER, having said that, it probably wouldn't make any difference. most of the drivers in this state are pretty shocking anyway, so statistically, it would make no difference! :)

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