How far away can you park from a driveway or street corner?
Monday, 9 September 2019
Every driver has experienced this scenario: you’ve circled the block three or four times already, looking for a parking space that’s closer to your destination.
There’s one spot that might just work, but it’s right on a street corner or driveway.
And in a busy place like this, wouldn’t that space be taken if it was legal to park there?
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Regardless of the state you live in, you’re bound to encounter people who don’t give a toss about parking legally.
They’ll park in a no-standing space, in front of a driveway or nearly into an intersection.
Sure, they might be hit with a ticket or get towed, but the convenience is worth the risk.
You’re not like that. You don’t want to park illegally, but wouldn’t you love to know if it’s a legal parking spot?
Here’s a quick recap of how far you must park from a driveway or intersection in order to avoid a run-in with the parking inspector.
Parking Near an Intersection
There are clear-cut and consistent rules about parking near an intersection. They go like this:
- If the intersection is controlled with stoplights, you must park at least 20 metres away. As a quick point of reference, that’s about 25 paces from your front bumper to the intersection curb. If you’re within that distance, you could be ticketed or towed.
- If the intersection is ‘uncontrolled’ meaning it does not have lights, the parking distance you must maintain from the intersection is 10 metres. That’s approximately 12 paces from your front bumper to the intersection.
- You are not allowed to stop within these zones either – though stopping for a red light is permitted, of course.
- Fines vary depending on the authority responsible for traffic control, but they aren’t cheap by any means.
Parking Near a Driveway
Rules are a little more muddled from state to state regarding street parking next to driveways. The regulations, while less defined, are quite similar between the different states and territories.
- In South Australia, you can’t park within 1.8 metres of a driveway.
- In New South Wales, the rules state that you can’t park on or across a driveway.
- In the other states, laws are worded differently but the basis is the same: you can’t park in a way that impedes a vehicle from entering, exiting, or turning into a driveway.
- In New South Wales, you can stop across a driveway for up to two minutes, such as if you’re waiting for a passenger to come out.
Regardless of the minimum requirements, the parking laws exist for a reason. Parking too close to an intersection impedes a vehicle from turning safely and can put pedestrians at risk.
Parking your car in a way that obstructs a driveway can make it unsafe for someone to enter traffic.
Plus, it impedes a householder or visitor from accessing their driveway, which is simply rude.
It’s best to park with courtesy and safety in mind. If you think where you’re about to park might create a hazard or you’re not sure it’s a legal parking spot, don’t park there!
Find another parking space – a few extra footsteps never hurt anybody. Quite the opposite.
Vehicle safety is about more than just staying alert when parking your car. Make sure your car is regularly serviced and safety tested.
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Image credit - Gemma Anne
Jason is a Canadian automotive content writer with a background in the auto service industry, but he’s been hooked on cars and mechanics since childhood.
One of his first cars was an ’80 Mazda RX-7 that’s sorely missed to this day. A ’68 Ford Torino GT, a ’66 Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon, and a ’96 Suzuki GSX-R 750 have spent time in his fleet of cars, bikes, and trucks over the past two decades.
Jason’s pride and joy is under construction – a turbocharged ’88 Mazda RX-7 convertible. Also on his resume is CASCAR official certification.