A blocked driveway has been a perpetual cause for petty neighborhood disputes and rivalry for as long as the invention and use of private cars began.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had compiled data on the frequency of blocked driveway occurrences in the united states, and it appeared to occur at least 12 times weekly in each neighborhood.
Luckily for law enforcement agencies, blocking someone’s driveway is a civil and not criminal offense, so police officers don’t always have to deal with this. Now the big question is, can you get a ticket for blocking your own driveway?
Yes, you can get a ticket for blocking your driveway irrespective of it being your private driveway because it is a civil offense to block a driveway. You are advised to park in your garage, inside your driveway, or on the street.
What Does It Mean To Block One Driveway?
According to the United States legislative, the act of negligently or consciously obstructing, hindering, or preventing the free passage of traffic directly in front of one’s residence is considered blocking a driveway.
It is regarded as a civil offense because it poses an unreasonable inconvenience to other motorists.
However, as earlier stated, it does not affect random road users only, but also home residents. A great percentage of neighborhood disputes emanate from noise disturbances, and a higher percentage emanate from blocked driveways.
In scenarios where one resident has his or her visitors park in front of a neighbor’s legal driveway, it could get violent and even lead to car vandalization.
Can You Get a Ticket for Blocking Your Own Driveway?
Yes, you can get a ticket for blocking your own driveway. Parking very close to a driveway entrance and blocking your driveway is considered a civil offense, and like all civil offenses and offenses in general, it is punishable.
Although the penalties may not be severe, they might cost you something, especially if blocking your driveway caused an accident.
Also, if you parked in a public place to block your driveway, you can get a ticket for doing so. And if that single act caused an accident or lead to one disorder, you will be penalized for that.
Therefore, irrespective of how fast you want to quickly grab things inside your house and come out, ensure to park appropriately, either on the street, in your garage, or fully in the driveway of your home, not blocking the driveway.
Is it Illegal to Block Your Own Driveway?
Yes, it is illegal to block your own driveway whether it’s your private or public driveway, there are no exceptions. Just park appropriately the way you are supposed to.
What Happens if You Block Your Own Driveway?
Though it is under low probability as the council or police only address complaints of blocked driveways, you might get a ticket if the police, unfortunately, happen to be on a hunt for bad parking/congestion.
Although they are mainly interested in streets close to soccer arenas or football fields, it is safer to make sure you are always in the clear or park well.
However, parking tickets are usually around the range of $35 to $45 and you should have about $40 extra just in case of surprise contingencies.
How Should You Park at Your Driveway?
The driveway is private land and is given to the residents to utilize in any way they might wish. Ranging from bikes to unicycles, to cars, to buses, to scooters, etc.
All privately owned vehicles can be parked on their owner’s driveway as long as it fits but should not block it.
Although there is a cautioning rule that only land-friendly vehicles could be parked, in some neighborhoods in the united states, residents are seen to have other forms of transportation-inclined vehicles parked on their driveways such as boats, canoes, and even yachts.
What if Someone Blocked your Driveway?
If someone blocks your driveway, you can look around to check if the person is around or within, and you can politely tell the person to move his or her vehicle.
If the person is nowhere to be found, and you are in a haste to drive out, you can involve the police. Reporting the blockade to the police will go a long way in case any issue occurs.
However, if by 72 hours the owner has not come to take his vehicle out of your driveway, you can involve the place and get a towing company to tow the vehicle away. Yes, you can have a car towed for blocking your driveway.
You can also take more drastic and ultimately expensive measures by filing a civil case against the owner, requesting financial compensation, or you can make the simple but unnecessary move of involving the police.
Whatever decision you might consider taking, vandalization should be the last thing on your mind. It is quite a rampant response to an attempt to ram the vehicle, slash a tire, break a window, or perform any little act of vandalism.
It is important to note this, although parking in front of one’s driveway is a civil crime and basically counts as trespassing, it is equally unacceptable to attempt to vandalize the vehicle in any way whatsoever.
As a matter of fact, congress considers all acts of vandalism punishable by law regardless of the cause, unless otherwise stated by the jury.
Vandalism is considered a criminal offense while blocking one’s driveway is considered a civil offense. So in a case whereby there is a civil offender and a criminal offender, the criminal offender will serve more time if the jury dims it fit or pay higher compensation fees.
This implies that whatsoever the case may be between a resident and a car owner, the criminal offender who is the vandal will face a whole lot more penalties than the civil offender who blocked a resident’s driveway. This vandalization against vehicles could be in different ways, they could be in different ways, like ;
Smashing windows, mirrors, or headlights, Slashing tires, Keying (scratching the bodies with car keys or another object), Spray painting or graffiti, moving the car, deploying a wheel clamp, etc.
Having understood this, let’s highlight possible penalties that could be given to vandals.
- The car owner could try and claim on the vandal’s car insurance policy for the damage to their car.
- The car owner could involve the police and file a case against the vandal, and this might eventually lead to the vandal being fined or given a one-year jail sentence.
As earlier stated, blocked driveways are rampant and frequent occurrences, and taking drastic measures is generally uncalled for. You can simply avoid your driveway being blocked by installing lockable car park posts or fold-down bollards on your driveway.
You can also consider installing a gate across the driveway with a wireless locking system. Taking these actions could cost you a lot of money, but they’re undoubtedly reasonable solutions in the case of a high rate of occurrences.
Whatsoever the case may be, avoid blocking residents’ driveways as much as possible, try to remain as calm and coordinated as possible, and in a case where your driveway is blocked, take only polite and legally accepted actions.