Maryland parking laws: understanding the basics
Drivers in Maryland are responsible for ensuring their vehicles do not become a hazard when they are parked. According to Maryland law, the vehicle needs to be in a space that is away from the travel lanes of a road so that it does not interfere with the flow of traffic. It also needs to be visible to vehicles that are approaching your car from both directions. Always try to park in the designated spaces for parking to ensure you are not in violation of the law.
It is always a good idea to park as closely to the curb as possible. Try to get within 12 inches of the curb. There are a number of rules on where you can and cannot park that are enforced throughout the state.
The parking rules
Drivers are not allowed to park in front of a fire hydrant. This is common sense for most people. If you were to park in front of a hydrant and a fire engine needed to get to it, you could cost them precious time. In addition, they will likely damage your car to get to the hydrant, and they will not be responsible for those damages in the event of an emergency where they need the hydrant. You will likely be fined for parking too close to a fire hydrant as well.
Drivers are not allowed to park in a school zone either. This is for safety of the students as well as the flow of traffic. When parents pick up their children, if everyone simply parked in the school zone, the traffic would quickly become chaotic. You must not park in loading zones either. These areas are important to retail businesses who need to load and unload goods. If you are parked there, it will inconvenience them.
Maryland drivers are not allowed to double park either. Double parking is when you park on the roadway side of a vehicle that is already parked. Some people might not think this is a problem if they are only stopping to let someone out or to pick someone up, but it is still illegal, and it can be considered hazardous. There is a chance another vehicle could hit you from behind, for example. In addition, it is sure to slow the flow of traffic.
Something to remember is that the various towns and cities around the state may have their own laws and regulations when it comes to parking. Drivers should make it a point to know and abide by the local laws. They also need to check for signs when they are parking to make sure they are not parking in a no parking zone. The fines for the parking infractions may differ from one town to another as well.
Always check your surroundings when you are parking your vehicle and ask yourself whether it could be considered a hazard. Using some common sense when you are parking can help you avoid becoming a hazard and getting a fine.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Guide To Colored Curb Zones in Maryland and was authored by Valerie Johnston.