Massachusetts parking laws: understanding the basics
The parking laws in Massachusetts are developed by the state and then enforced by the cities and the towns. As such, this means that the cost of the fines for parking violations can vary from one town to another. Most of the time, the regulations and laws are the same as those proposed by the state, but that’s not always the case. Some cities and towns may have their own take on parking laws, so you will need to abide by those if you do not want to run the risk of getting a fine or having your car towed. There are a number of general rules that you will want to follow to make sure you are not at risk.
Follow the parking laws
If you are parking in a business or residential district, you need to make sure your vehicle is no more than 12 inches from the curb. There is only one exception to this, and that is when angled parking is allowed. In those cases, you must make sure your vehicle is parked within the indicated lines. You cannot take up more than one space with your vehicle, or you will get a ticket.
Massachusetts drivers are not allowed to park their vehicles at a bus stop, or at a taxi stand. You also need to be aware of street cleaning signs. They will let you know when the regular scheduled cleanings occur, and when you are able to park in those locations. You cannot park in a posted loading zone or within 20 feet of an intersection.
Drivers cannot park in a crosswalk, nor can they park in front of a driveway. This would be a massive inconvenience for anyone who needs to use the driveway. In addition, when you are parking near a curb, or even in a parking lot, you need to be careful that you do not park in front of a handicap access ramp. Never park in a disabled parking area unless you have the plates or placards that will allow it.
You cannot park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or a fire lane, or on a curb, a center traffic island, or a median. If there is a roadway emergency or a weather emergency, you are not allowed to park on the side of the road. Never park facing the wrong way in traffic. It is also unlawful to park on a state or interstate highway unless you are authorized. For example, you can do so if a police officer pulls you over.
In Massachusetts, you cannot park your vehicle on a rural roadway or outside a “thickly settled district”. Double parking is also against the law. This would impede traffic and it could become a hazard, even if you are only there for a few minutes. It is also illegal to park on the side of the road to make non-emergency repairs to your vehicle.
If you do not follow the laws, you could get a citation and a fine. Always check for signs and any other indication that you are not allowed to park in certain locations before doing so.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Guide To Colored Curb Zones in Massachusetts and was authored by Valerie Johnston.