Is it ever legal to have "through traffic"

Conan O Brien just commented that cutting through a gas station at a red light is illegal. Is this the case?

That is, if you are in traffic, and there is a Gas station or resturant that has two openings, can you use one, to cut to the other, and bypass a traffic signal that would be red ?

I was in a car with a bunch of friends once and we were passing a row of traffic cones set up to guide traffic to the ferry terminal. This was during the Commonwealth Games IIRC. I told the driver to hit one of the cones, which he did. But my friend in the passenger seat had a much better idea. He opened his door, which is a much more efficient way of knocking down a multitude of cones without having to swerve all over the road. But one of the cones interfered with some of the traffic behind us and they weren’t too happy about it. They followed us through town and were probably intending to do us some harm but we escaped them by dodging a red light while cutting through the parking lot of a 7-11. Under that circumstance it works great. Not sure if it’s legal though.

Duh. Yeah, it’s illegal. Imagine the chaos if everyone did this? What the fsck do you think traffic control devices are for, for crying out loud? That, and the fact that you’re tresspassing private property.

It’s illegal, my brother got a ticket for it once. A gas station lot isn’t a street, it’s a lot, there are pedestrians all over the place. While it’s OK for there to be traffic in proportion to the business conducted, having everyone cut through to skip the red light will increase the traffic outrageously. That’s more dangerous, and makes it much harder for the business to do business.

I used to work with a Sheriff’s volunteer. He’d do security and stuff for the county. I asked him specifically this question (and any other police related q’s that came to mind) and he said it wasn’t illegal.

Hmmm, he’s prob’ly just full of crap.

Crap it is, subject to jurisdiction of course. :wink:

This is GQ? Then all I’ll say is that what you did is illegal, dangerous, and… I’ll leave it at that.

This wqas recently explicitly made illegal in Virginia. Not sure if it was eplicitly legal beforehand, or just a gray area.


In highschool, I was driving my car home, and noticed that it was smoking and the engine was running erratically. I was worried about it dying if I came to a complete stop, so I cut through a 7-11 parking lot to avoid a light. Got pulled over, and would have gotten a ticket, but the officer took pity on me because of the state of my car. This was Oregon, around 1990.

As was stated before the traffic laws in each state are different. I can tell you it is a motor vehicle violation in New Jersey.

About ten years ago my roommate at the time got pulled over for this. He was coming home from work, and went through a mall parking lot to get to our apartment complex. He may have even intended to go to the mall and then changed his mind; I don’t recall. He got a ticket.

This was in Illinois.

It’s rather a jerkish thing to do, illegal or not. Although, it might be rather hard to make stick if someone wanted to contest it. “I was going to go into the 7-11, but changed my mind after I’d pulled into the lot.” is rather hard to disprove, and would indicate that you didn’t do it with the intent of evading the traffic light.

You never know what a judge will believe. I saw a guy claim to be pulling into the parking lot of a Subway to get milk and then leave when he saw it was closed. Who goes to Subway to get milk? The judge found him not guilty.