You've probably done this: pulled into a parking space and realize the next one is open and you could avoid backing up when you leave. Did you just break the law?

I don't have to tell you that the way people drive these days is crazy. Bad behavior on the roads is not confined to the roads- it happens in parking lots too. I'm sure you've seen people speeding and cutting across rows of empty parking spaces to make a beeline for the exit. It's not as dangerous to pull completely through a parking space if the next one is empty, but is it illegal?

First, let's talk about jurisdiction. Although the parking lot of the mall or a big box store may, technically, be private property, you can still get a traffic ticket. Act 300 of the Michigan Vehicle Code, first enacted into law in 1949, is eight pages of rules and regulations on stopping, standing and parking. You can be ticketed, towed and/or fined for many things, including parking in a manner obstructing traffic, on a sidewalk or a crosswalk, within 15' of a fire hydrant or in a fire lane, blocking access to curb cuts, in front of a theater or blocking an alley. There are many more provisions, restrictions and guidelines, but the statute says nothing about pulling through a parking space.

As always when behind the wheel, an abundance of caution is recommended. Watch for other vehicles, as there may be another car pulling into that same spot you're pulling through from the "correct" direction. Pedestrians, also have no idea what your intentions are and could be in danger. So, while it is not illegal to pull through a parking space to make it easier to leave, it isn't always smart.

READ MORE: Crazy Driving Stories

 

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