Is it illegal to park facing oncoming traffic? Roadshow

When can you park or stop along the shoulder of the freeway?

Parking or stopping along the side of the freeway is prohibited, unless:

  • You are having an emergency. 
  • You are being pulled over by law enforcement. 
  • There are signs that allow you to stop. 

If you need to stop on the freeway, make sure that you pull completely off the pavement. If possible, stay in your seat with your seat belt fastened until help arrives. You should make sure that there is plenty of space for other vehicles to pass your car and your vehicle is visible for at least 200 feet in each direction. 

You can find more information about this topic in the Parking section of your official driver’s handbook. 


Is it illegal to park across someones driveway?

If someone is blocking your driveway it is not technically illegal, although it might feel like it should be.

However, if their wheel is over the dropped kerb, they are committing a parking offence.

There are two types of dropped kerbs: those for pedestrians, especially those with buggies or in wheelchairs, and those for drivers to access driveways.

Vehicles parked across dropped kerbs can be ticketed, even if they're not fully blocking it.

Parking very close to a dropped kerb or directly opposite it isn't illegal, even if it restricts access.

In the rare case someone is blocking your driveway and will not leave, you should call the local council.

As it is a civil matter, it is not a police case. 

However if the car is causing an obstruction in the road then the police can be involved.

The Highway Code states that a car cannot cause an obstruction to the road, but this does not include obstructing access to private land. 

Gary Richards

Gary Richards has covered traffic and transportation in the Bay Area as Mr. Roadshow since 1992. Prior to that he was an assistant sports editor at the paper from 1984-1987. He started his journalism career as a sports editor in Iowa in 1975. Follow Gary Richards mr.roadshow Follow Gary Richards @mrroadshow


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