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I got ANOTHER parking ticket?!

March 5, 2013 by Steven M. Gursten

The “parking law” in Michigan and how to avoid that dreaded parking ticket

parking law michigan

We’ve all been there, even me from time to time (and Detroit wins the award for worst and most expensive place to get a parking ticket).  All of the parking spots in the lots are filled, or we are out of quarters and the meter only takes quarters, or we are running late and scrambling to find a spot (hmmm, is that a spot along the curb and can I park there? What about along that alley way?).

Here’s the one that always gets me. I have motion call in Detroit or Grand Rapids, or some courtroom somewhere else for what I think will be at the very most a 30-minute hearing.  I put an hour in the meter, and then I have to sit there for two to three hours waiting for a judge to take the bench and then they call with 10 lawyers before mine.  I’m not able to run back out and feed the meter, and – wham – another parking ticket for me.

So today I want to address a rather painful topic for me, one that  our attorneys want to help you with so next time you’re in a parking crunch, you’ll be able to know where it’s legal to park your car.

Yes, some of this is  common sense, but you may also be surprised with a parking ticket on your windshield from a rather ornery police officer if you’re not aware of all of the  “no parking” traffic laws.

Never park:

  • Signs: Do not park where “no stopping,” “no standing,” “no parking,” and “no parking at any time” signs are posted.
  • Near a fire or crash: Do not park within 500 feet of a fire or a crash.
  • Disabled parking: Do not park in a space reserved for the disabled, unless you are properly using a disability license plate or placard.
  • Fire hydrants: Do not park within 15 feet of a fire hydrant.
  • Fire stations: Do not park within 20 feet of a fire station driveway on the same side of the street or, when marked, within 75 feet of the driveway on the other side of the street.
  • Railroad: Do not park within 50 feet of the nearest rail of a railroad crossing.
  • Driveways, etc.: Do not park in front of any driveway, alley, theater, emergency exit, or fire escape.
  • Blocking intersection view: Do not park next to a road where you block the view of drivers turning at an intersection.
  • Far from the curb: Do not park more than 12 inches from the curb or against the flow of traffic. This means the curb should never be more than 12 inches from your vehicle when parked.
  • Stop signs and traffic lights: Do not park within 30 feet of a stop sign, traffic light, or flashing beacon, including a warning sign.
  • Highway shoulder: Do not park in a lane of a highway outside city or village limits if there is a highway shoulder.
  • Bridge: Do not park on a bridge or overpass, under a bridge, or in a tunnel.
  • Sidewalk: DO not park on a sidewalk or in front of a public or private driveway.
  • Intersection: Do not park within an intersection, crosswalk, or designated bike lane. Also do not park within 20 feet of a marked crosswalk, or 15 feet of an intersection if there is no crosswalk.
  • Double parked: Do not park on the street-side of a legally parked vehicle (double parking).
  • Mailboxes: Do not park in a manner that obstructs delivery of mail to a rural mailbox.

This may seem like a lot to remember. But these are the basics for parking laws in Michigan and most other states as well. Michigan’s vehicle code has a comprehensive list of where parking is prohibited in Michigan.

Changes to Michigan parking ticket law

Please note! Changes to Michigan’s parking ticket law went into effect last May, after Gov. Rick Snyder signed a new parking ticket law in February of 2012.  A Michigan driver cannot renew his driver’s license if he has more than three unpaid parking tickets.

Prior to this, a driver could have as many as six unpaid parking tickets before their driver license was affected.

 – Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by alicegop

Related info:

What are the Michigan speed limit laws?

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