Knowing the parking laws and regulations in the state of Pennsylvania is just as important as knowing all of the other rules of the road. If you were to park in an illegal area, you could face fines and you might even have your vehicle towed away. You do not want to go through the hassle of paying these fines or getting your car out of impound so take the time to learn some of the most important parking laws in the state
Laws to know
Whenever you park alongside a curb, you want to have your tires as close to it as possible. You have to be within 12 inches of the curb to be within the bounds of the law. If there is no curb, you need to pull off the road as much as you can to ensure your vehicle is not in the roadway. There are many places where you will not be able to park, stop, or stand with your vehicle unless you are told to do so by a police officer.
Double parking is illegal in Pennsylvania. This is when a vehicle parks or stops on the roadway side of a vehicle that has already stopped or parked near the curb. This takes up too much space in the roadway and is dangerous, as well as discourteous.
Drivers are not allowed to park on the sidewalk, in an intersection, or in a crosswalk. You cannot park your vehicle in an area alongside or opposite of construction or excavation on the street, as it will likely block or impede traffic in some way. You cannot park on a bridge or any other elevated structure, or within a highway tunnel. Do not park on railroad tracks or between roadways on a divided highway (crossovers, etc).
You have to park at least 50 feet away from the nearest rail of a railroad crossing, and at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant. This will ensure the fire trucks have access to the hydrant in the event of an emergency. You need to park at least 20 feet away from the driveway entrance to a fire station, and 30 feet away from a flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign, or traffic control device on the side of the road. It is also illegal to park in front of a public or a private driveway. You cannot park in any locations that would impede the movements of streetcars either.
Do not park in handicapped spaces unless you have the plates or placards that show you are legally allowed to do so. There are serious fines for parking in handicapped spaces illegally.
Please keep in mind that the price of the fines, and even some of the specifics of the laws can vary between communities. It is in your best interest to learn if there are any differences to the parking laws in your city or town. Also, keep your eyes peeled for signs that will indicate where and when you can park in certain locations. This will reduce the chance of you getting a fine.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Pennsylvania Parking Laws: Understanding the Basics and was authored by Valerie Johnston.