Drivers in Rhode Island need to be aware of the parking laws in their state and community. Failure to abide by the parking laws could mean fines, and it could mean your vehicle being towed to the impound yard. The following are some of the most important rules to remember when parking. Keep in mind that in some cases, the rules may be different within certain communities. It is important to know and understand the rules where you live, but these will give you a good overview of the laws in the state.
What are the parking laws?
There are a number of areas where you will not be allowed to park or stop your vehicle. You cannot park on the travel portion of the highway, and you cannot park on a sidewalk, in an intersection or on a crosswalk. You have to be at least 20 feet away from the crosswalk at an intersection.
Double parking, where you stop or park beside a vehicle that is already stopped or parked on the side of the road, is illegal. It is also dangerous and could cause an accident or slow down traffic. If there is any road work happening on the street, you do not want to park there. Your presence would block and slow traffic, and it is illegal to do so. You cannot park or stop on bridges or in tunnels, and you must never block a driveway when parking or stopping.
You cannot park within eight feet of a fire hydrant, or within 30 feet of a flashing beacon, a stop sign, or a traffic light. If you are going to park on the same side of the street as a fire station, you need to be at least 20 feet from the entrance. If there are signs posted and you are on the other side of the road, you will have to park at least 75 feet away.
You have to park at least 50 feet away from the nearest rail of a railroad crossing in most cases. However, you can be closer if you are only stopping for a short amount of time to load or unload passengers or packages.
It is illegal for drivers to park in front of a curb cut or a ramp for handicapped people. Along the same lines, it is illegal to park in spaces and areas specifically for handicapped people. Doing so is not only discourteous, it is also a surefire way to get a large fine.
There may be other areas where parking is prohibited as well. In some cases, towns and cities may have their own rules based on the laws from the state. They will also have their own fine schedules, so the amount you will have to pay in fines for infractions can vary based on your location. To help reduce the risk of getting a ticket or getting your car towed, you should always look for signs when you are getting ready to park.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Rhode Island Parking Laws: Understanding the Basics and was authored by Valerie Johnston.