Driving in Texas requires drivers to pay attention to their surroundings and to the laws of the road. This does not stop just because you are parking your vehicle. In fact, if you park your vehicle incorrectly or in the wrong area, you could become a hazard to other motorists. It is very important to pay attention to the parking laws and to abide by them. It will keep you and others safe, and it will ensure you do not get a parking ticket or have your car towed.
Parking laws to remember
In Texas, you are not allowed to park, stop, or stand your vehicle in a number of different locations. For example, you are not allowed to double park. This is when you place your vehicle on the roadway side of another vehicle that is at the edge of a road or a curb. You are not allowed to park your vehicle in the crosswalk, sidewalk, or within an intersection. It is also illegal to park between a safety zone and the adjacent curb. You need to be at least 30 feet from the opposite end of the safety zone when parking.
In addition, if there is an excavation in the street, or other obstructions, and stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic, you are not allowed to do it. You cannot park, stop, or stand on a bridge or other elevated highway structure, or in a tunnel. The same is true of railroad tracks.
Whether your vehicle has an occupant in or not, you are not allowed to park or stand a vehicle in front of a public or private driveway. You have to be at least 15 feet away from a fire hydrant and 20 feet away from a crosswalk at an intersection. You have to be at least 30 feet away from any stop signs, yield signs, flashing beacons, or other traffic signals at the side of the road. 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. When you park on the opposite side, you need to be at least 75 feet away.
Those who are outside of business and residential districts and have no choice but to park near the road need to leave plenty of room for others to pass. They also need to make sure their vehicle can be seen from at least 200 feet in both directions. If it is at night, you will need to leave your parking lights on or keep your headlights on dim.
Drivers should never park in a handicapped spot unless they have the right to do so. You will need to have special plates or placards in order to avoid fines. The fines for parking in these areas are very high – between $500 and $750 for the first offense.
Always check for signs in the area where you want to park. This will ensure you are not parking in areas where you should not.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Texas Parking Laws: Understanding the Basics and was authored by Valerie Johnston.