Last Updated on May 11, 2022 by Fair Punishment Team
Have you ever double-parked and wondered if it’s okay to do so? Perhaps you are enraged by the number of people double parking and wonder if it is illegal or not?
Or maybe you are unsure what double parking is and want to know more? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you!
We know how confusing some of the rules of the highway code can be. And with so many, it is difficult to remember them all.
Especially if you are in a rush and desperate to park your car. Sometimes you can throw it in any old space you can find, forgetting the rules of the road.
It is only after that you start to wonder, was that illegal? Should I have parked like that?
You then spend the next few weeks in anticipation, waiting for a parking fine to make its way through your letterbox. You spend the whole time on edge, wondering if you are a criminal or not.
Well, no more! Today we are here with the answers that you need. Keep reading to find out if double parking is illegal and everything else you need to know about it.
What Is Double Parking?
Before we dive in, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it. Double parking is when you park your car next to another parked car with a stall or on a street.
Instead of parking in a free bay, or in front or behind a parked car, double parking involves you parking alongside the parked car, often blocking the road for other motorists.
Double parking can cause traffic congestion and increase the chance of accidents, as motorists need to overtake your car to continue driving.
It also can prevent the person whose car you have double-parked from accessing their car. You will have likely blocked the driver’s side making it impossible for them to access their car and move.
While it can be an attractive option when you are in a rush, double parking inconveniences others and can be the cause of accidents. But is it illegal for you to do it? Let’s find out!
Is Double Parking Illegal?
Let’s get straight into it! Double parking is illegal in almost all states. As laws can vary from state to state it is always best to check if double parking is legal in your state or not.
You can check the highway laws for your state or the vehicle code to find out if double parking is illegal or not.
There are some cases in some states, like California, where some vehicles are allowed to double park.
These rules tend to apply to commercial vehicles that need to double park to unload merchandise or passengers.
This tends to include vans delivering goods to businesses or buses and taxis that need to drop off passengers.
You would also expect emergency services vehicles to be exempt from any double parking rules, especially when collecting sick patients.
For those not working for the emergency services though, or dropping passengers off, double parking is illegal.
While it might now be legal in some states for certain vehicles, the majority of states operate a zero-tolerance policy for double parking.
To avoid breaking the law, we recommend that you avoid double parking.
We know that it can seem appealing, especially when you have been trying to find a parking space for a while, but the inconvenience to other drivers and potential dangers it poses mean it should be avoided.
It is better to spend some more time looking for a suitable space than to double park, even for a few moments.
The last thing you want to do is cause any harm to anyone with your parking, or break the law!
What Is The Punishment For Double Parking?
Now that we have established that double parking is illegal, you might be wondering what the punishment is for it if you get caught.
The punishment can vary depending on the state you live in, but generally, you can expect a fine or for your vehicle to be towed.
Double parking is considered a traffic violation in most areas, but be sure to check what your state considers double parking as. This will give you a clearer idea of the level of punishment that you could receive from double parking.
To receive a fine for double parking you will need to have been caught by a traffic enforcer. Often, they will also send evidence of your car double-parked.
This could be a time-stamped photograph of your car double-parked or imaging taken from any CCTV in the area.
You might have the fine taped to your window when you return to your car, or it might be sent in the post to you a few weeks later.
Usually, this depends on the traffic enforcer and what they have with them when they see your double-parked vehicle.
If your car is towed, you will be informed where it has been towed too and you can go and collect your car.
You might need to pay a release fee and a fine also. This will vary depending on the state you live in, so be sure to check with your local authorities or council for more information.
Remember that when you are caught and charged with a traffic violation, you can also incur points on your license.
This can vary from state to state, so be sure to check what your state’s policy is. In some states, the points will sit on your license for a few years and can increase the cost of car insurance.
To avoid incurring points on your driving record, ensure that you do not violate any traffic laws, including double parking.
While it can be tempting at times to double park, doing so is illegal and dangerous to other motorists. Not only does it block roads, but it can cause accidents that could be fatal.
To deter you from double parking, most states will issue fines, points on your driving record, or tow your vehicle to remove the obstruction.
Remember to check what the laws are in your state and the punishment.