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redsox2010
09-05-2011, 07:18 PM
Just a quick question I was wondering about. Can a police officer enforce MV laws on private property? For example, stop sign violations in the parking lot of a mall or a supermarket. Not that any officer would want to enforce such a stupid thing like that but COULD they? I'm not sure, because it is private property and I would assume it is up to the property owner.

Manxman
09-05-2011, 07:22 PM
Since this is a totally hypothetical question I'll give you an answer from the UK: yes, some of the traffic laws apply on private property. All of the traffic laws apply on some private property (private property can still be a "road" to which the law applies). Private stop signs are meaningless.

Iowa #1603
09-05-2011, 08:02 PM
In Iowa MOST and I repeat and stress MOST Motor Vehicle laws are restricted to public highways. There are a few that are "any where in the state". OWI is one.



Not that any officer would want to enforce such a stupid thing like that but COULD they?

Why would you think it is a stupid thing. There are MANY traffic collisions in parking lots. Stop signs in parking lots (if obeyed) prevent many collisions.

mikeymedic
09-05-2011, 08:17 PM
Laws aren't stupid, they help keep pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions low. There are laws in the MV code that we can enforce on private property; like Iowa mentioned DUI is one, in CO there are two others.

redsox2010
09-05-2011, 08:30 PM
In Iowa MOST and I repeat and stress MOST Motor Vehicle laws are restricted to public highways. There are a few that are "any where in the state". OWI is one.




Why would you think it is a stupid thing. There are MANY traffic collisions in parking lots. Stop signs in parking lots (if obeyed) prevent many collisions.

I didn't mean that having stop signs in lots are stupid. I actually thought of this question while sitting in a lot the other day and watching every single car that passed by go right through the stop sign that was there without even making an attempt to slow down.

I just meant that an officer is not likely to sit in the parking lot of a mall and enforce stop sign violations there.

APDSgt
09-05-2011, 08:52 PM
In Florida it is apparently quite different from what other officers have inidicated. Traffic laws on private property are enforceable, with a few exceptions. One of them is speeding over a posted limit. However, I could issue a citation for "too fast for conditions". The stop signs - as long as they generally conform to regulations 'could' be enforced.

Sgt Jack
09-05-2011, 08:54 PM
Just a quick question I was wondering about. Can a police officer enforce MV laws on private property? For example, stop sign violations in the parking lot of a mall or a supermarket. Not that any officer would want to enforce such a stupid thing like that but COULD they? I'm not sure, because it is private property and I would assume it is up to the property owner.As far as Mass goes I will say yes we can provided that the public has a right to access the area and the area doesn't have any restrictions for traffic to enter such as barriers and check points, no posted trespassing signs etc. So the parking lot at the mall like you describe would be fair game.

PhilipCal
09-05-2011, 09:30 PM
I'd be interested in your reasoning as to why enforcing a posted Stop sign is a stupid thing. Then again, I may be sorry I asked. In the Montgomery (Al) area, several of the major shopping malls have deeded their streets over to the City of Montgomery. More often than not, the painting and signage is already in compliance with Alabama DOT Standards. This allows the City of Montgomery to enforce all applicable provisions of Title 32 Code of Alabama Motor Vehicles and Traffic, plus any applicable municipal traffic ordinances. Other states may or may not have similar provisions, so it would be in your best interests to check applicable law in your state/municipality.

SRT936
09-05-2011, 09:35 PM
In Iowa MOST and I repeat and stress MOST Motor Vehicle laws are restricted to public highways. There are a few that are "any where in the state". OWI is one.

Wisconsin is pretty much the same. Some laws are applicable to anywhere that is "held open for public use", others are not.

Stop signs in parking lots are not enforceable, criminally. However, if you run one and cause an accident, you will be held fully liable in civil court.

blairian
09-05-2011, 10:00 PM
You can in Texas. While you might not (or cannot...I'm still trying to find the applicability of all the traffic laws outside of Reckless Driving) want to stroke them for running a stop sign, speeding etc. you can stroke for Reckless Driving. That is if you feel as though they have driven with disregard to the safety of persons and property since it specifically lists private property where parking is provided for patrons by a business. The exceptions to this rule include Private RESIDENTIAL property / parking and a garage/parking lot where payment is secured for parking.

Dingo990
09-05-2011, 11:36 PM
The vast majority of minor wrecks happen in parking lots, so the laws aren't that stupid...

Anyways, in KS we can enforce the laws if the property owner gives us permission and posts a sign to that effect. All the apartment complexes in my jurisdiction have down that, so we pinch people for stop signs and speeding on those properties all the time.

Also, we can still enforce things like reckless driving, parking laws, cross walk laws, ect

HotSoup
09-06-2011, 10:28 AM
In Arizona DUI is the only enforceable traffic law on private property

reils49
09-06-2011, 11:06 AM
In NY a private roads and parking lot open to traffic, with access to a public roadway, and at least 4 parking spots is fair game for VTL enforcement including DWI arrest even if it's private property.

Other than that, you can drink and drive on your own property. For example, it is not unlawful for a homeowner to plow his driveway under the influence of alcohol as long as his driveway does not meet the criteria for a "private road" and he does not drive onto a public roadway. Snowmobilers are usually tanked, but as long as they stay on private property (farms usually) and they have permission to be there, they are not DWI. I personally don't care, and it's not really an issue unless there is an accident. In that instance, if you were charging someone for a crime (i.e. a drunken snowmobiler kills someone on private property) you would charge him under the penal law.

just joe
09-06-2011, 12:07 PM
Only a limited number of offenses in Ohio can be cited while driving on private property.

SgtScott31
09-06-2011, 01:35 PM
All of Title 55 of TN Code (traffic laws) can be enforced on any public or private road/lot that is open and frequented by the public at large. Now do officers in TN conduct any primary enforcement at Walmart? No, but if I get called to the lot and it was apparent by investigation the person was driving careless/reckless I can cite them. In TN I can even write a traffic cite and have a witness to the driving sign as prosecutor. They would have to appear in court and it's a he said/she said situation, but it's possible.

Viking042900
09-07-2011, 02:15 PM
In South Carolina, DUI, Hit and Run, and Reckless Driving are the only traffic violations we can enforce on private property.

I personally prefer it that way. Parking lots (at least around here) are not laid out according to any state standards like roads are, and a lot of times property owners use traffic signs that are more aesthetically pleasing (harder to see) than standard road signs.

Dudley #1
09-23-2011, 04:10 AM
Where I work, private property, to which the public is invited, or has access to, is considered part of the "Highway". It would need to be barricaded and access completely restricted to NOT have the traffic laws apply. Might want to call your locat State Troopers for a deifinitive answer.

kf4vix82
09-23-2011, 04:15 AM
Just a quick question I was wondering about. Can a police officer enforce MV laws on private property? For example, stop sign violations in the parking lot of a mall or a supermarket. Not that any officer would want to enforce such a stupid thing like that but COULD they? I'm not sure, because it is private property and I would assume it is up to the property owner.

In TN I could enforce traffic laws on private property, but only if it is an area that is "frequented by the public." If you own a farm and have a stop sign planted in your field, then no, I can't do anything about that. But Mall/Walmart parking lots, etc, fit the criteria.

Do I do it? No. Not usually. Just depends.

dashdriver
09-27-2011, 12:32 AM
Laws aren't stupid, they help keep pedestrian and motor vehicle collisions low. There are laws in the MV code that we can enforce on private property; like Iowa mentioned DUI is one, in CO there are two others.

1. DUI
2. Hit & Run
3. Reckless Driving
4. Careless Driving
5. Unsafe Backing

Those are the violations that can be cited for on private property in CO.

hopperja
09-27-2011, 03:07 AM
In WA, criminal traffic (DUI/PC, DWLS, Reckless, NVOL w/o ID, Negligent Driving) as well as firelane and handicapped parking violations, can be enforced on private property. There might be others, but I'm not thinking of them off the top of my head.

LA DEP
09-28-2011, 12:52 PM
In most cases, only very limited offenses can be enforced on private property here in CA (DUI being a big one)

But, there is signage that can be put up at all entrances to the lot that will allow the CVC to be enforced there....what usually trips that up is that the signs on private property do not ususally conform to what is required in the CVC (wrong size stop sign ect)

ChiTownDet
09-28-2011, 01:15 PM
In Illinois, DUI and Handicap parkiing can be enforced on private property (they may have added to these since I've hung up my ticket book). All traffic codes can be enforced if there is an agreement between the property owner and the PD (such as the case with malls).

Future55
10-14-2011, 01:29 PM
I would personally think any law can be enforced in any place. If I get stabbed out front of the mall. I would hope the LEO would jump out and apprehend the stabber. There are a large amount of traffic incidents in parking lots.
1. They're jam-packed with people
2. They are frustrating
3. Pedestrians are everywhere
4. There is normally kids/handicapped everywhere

^ That makes for a dangerous situation. Add in the stress/stress relief of spending money and you've got a messy spot. As for the practicality of sitting and writing tickets all evening for something that would probably be bounced out of court I do not know. I personally think parking lots/structures should have a sign before entrance stating that all traffic laws apply on the property and will be enforced. <That alone would make me pay closer attention.

mdrdep
10-14-2011, 03:11 PM
I would personally think any law can be enforced in any place. If I get stabbed out front of the mall. I would hope the LEO would jump out and apprehend the stabber. There are a large amount of traffic incidents in parking lots.
1. They're jam-packed with people
2. They are frustrating
3. Pedestrians are everywhere
4. There is normally kids/handicapped everywhere

^ That makes for a dangerous situation. Add in the stress/stress relief of spending money and you've got a messy spot. As for the practicality of sitting and writing tickets all evening for something that would probably be bounced out of court I do not know. I personally think parking lots/structures should have a sign before entrance stating that all traffic laws apply on the property and will be enforced. <That alone would make me pay closer attention.

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