When parking in South Carolina, you need to make sure you understand the rules and laws that are in place. Knowing these will not only help to keep you from getting fines and getting your car towed, but it will also ensure that your parked vehicle is not a hazard to other drivers, or yourself.
Rules to know
One of the first things to know is that double parking in South Carolina is illegal, as well as discourteous and dangerous. Double parking is when you park on the roadway side of a vehicle that is already stopped or parked at the side of the road or the curb. Even if you are only going to be there long enough to drop someone off or pick them up, it is illegal. You also have to make sure that you are always within 18 inches of the curb when parking. If you park too far out, it is illegal, and it puts your vehicle too close to the traffic, which could cause an accident.
Unless directed by law enforcement or a traffic control device, it is illegal to park in many different areas. For example, the interstate. You are not allowed to park on the side of the interstate. If you have an emergency, you want to get as far onto the right shoulder as possible.
You are not allowed to park on sidewalks, in an intersection, or on pedestrian crosswalks. You have to be at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrants when parked, and at least 20 feet away from crosswalks at an intersection. You have to park at least 30 feet away from stop signs, flashing beacons, or signal lights at the side of the road. It is illegal to park in front of a driveway “or near enough to hinder the driveway use by others.”
It is illegal to park between a safety zone and the opposite curb, within 50 feet of a railroad crossing, or within 500 feet of a fire vehicle that has stopped to answer an alarm. If you are parking on the same side of the street as a fire station, you need to be at least 20 feet away from the driveway. If you are parking on the opposite side of the street, you need to be 75 feet away.
You cannot park on bridges, elevated roads, in tunnels, or underpasses, or along curbs painted yellow or that have other indicators for no parking. Do not park on hills or curves, or on the open highway. If you have to park on the highway, you want to make sure that there is at least 200 feet of open space in either direction so the other drivers can see your vehicle. This will reduce the chance of an accident.
Always look for "No Parking" signs, as well as other indicators of where and when you can park. Keeping your eyes out for the signs will help to reduce the risk of you getting a ticket or having your vehicle towed for being parked illegally.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as South Carolina Parking Laws: Understanding the Basics and was authored by Valerie Johnston.