Is Double Parking Illegal? (3 State Laws + Consequences)

Quick Summary:

Yes, double parking is illegal in most places. On top of it being illegal, it is also inconsiderate of who you’re parking next to. It’s important to follow all parking rules and regulations in your area to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. Always park in designated areas and leave enough room for other vehicles to pass by.

As you continue reading we’ll go on to answer common questions about this topic using stories, examples, and laws.

What is Double Parking?

Double parking refers to the practice of parking a vehicle alongside another vehicle that is already parked at the side of a road.

This typically happens when a driver is unable to find a parking spot and instead chooses to park next to another parked car, rather than in an empty spot. Double parking can also occur when a driver parks their car next to a parked car, but in a way that blocks the flow of traffic or makes it difficult for other vehicles to pass by.

Imagine, you’re a driver who’s trying to leave the mall after shopping, you find your car blocked by a double-parked car, which means you have to wait for the owner to come back, or find a way to ask for the owner to move the car. This can cause frustration, delays, and a waste of time, especially if you are in a rush.

Why is Double Parking Bad?

Double parking can cause traffic and safety issues. It blocks other vehicles from being able to properly maneuver, potentially leading to accidents or delays in emergency response vehicles reaching their destination.

Imagine you’re running late for an important meeting and you’re rushing to find a parking spot. You finally spot one, but as you’re about to pull in, you realize that someone has double parked their car, blocking the spot. Frustrated and now running even later, you have to keep searching for a spot. This scenario illustrates one of the problems caused by double parking – it makes it difficult for other drivers to find a parking place, causing delays and inconvenience.

Now, imagine you’re a delivery driver and you have several stops to make in a busy city, but you can’t find a parking spot because of all the cars that are double parked on the street. This is not only frustrating but it can also take a toll on your business, if you are not able to deliver on time, it could lead to a loss of customers.

Lastly, imagine you’re a pedestrian trying to cross the street, but the sidewalk is blocked by a double-parked car. This can force you to walk in the street, putting you in danger of getting hit by a car. Double parking can also make it difficult for emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire trucks, to get through, putting lives at risk.

These examples show that double parking a car can cause a number of problems for other drivers, pedestrians, and even businesses. It’s not only a violation of traffic laws but it can also cause delays, inconvenience, and even danger. It’s important to always be aware of your surroundings and to park in designated parking spots to avoid double parking and causing problems for others.

What is The Punishment for Double Parking?

The punishment for double parking varies depending on location and the severity of the infraction. Generally, it could result in hefty fines or even possibly having your vehicle towed.

  • The City of Boston has fines that range from $35 to $55 for double parking in exclusive areas.
  • Depending on the area in Virginia, parking in two spots will result in a fine. This amount varies by location but often goes up if not paid within a certain number of days. For example, Charlottesville’s penalty is $20 initially, but this becomes $40 if not handled within 96 hours. Henrico and Prince Edward also start at $20 fines while Richmond charges double at $40. In Fredericksburg, the fee is upped to $50 and Danville only slaps drivers with a measly$10 charge for their destructive ways.
  • For example, in Los Angeles, the fine is $63 for double parking on a residential street but $73 for doing so on a roadway with metered or paid parking.
  • It is also a tow-away offense in California, meaning your vehicle can be towed if caught double parking.

When is Double Parking allowed?

Double parking may be allowed in certain situations, such as when unloading or loading passengers or goods. Still, it is important to always check with your local municipality for specific regulations.

Some cities have exemptions for double parking like San Francisco, where commercial vehicles are allowed to double park while loading or unloading if they have a permit and follow certain time limits. Other cities have exemptions for ride-sharing drivers picking up or dropping off passengers.

However, there are some situations where double parking may be allowed or accepted, such as:

  1. Loading and unloading: In some cases, double parking may be allowed for a short period of time while a driver is loading or unloading goods from a vehicle. This is often the case for delivery trucks and moving vans.
  2. Emergency situations: In the case of an emergency, such as a medical emergency or a fire, double parking may be allowed to allow emergency vehicles to get through.
  3. Special events: During special events, such as parades or street fairs, temporary double parking may be allowed to accommodate the increased number of vehicles.
  4. Some urban areas, like NYC, they have designated Double parking hours and spots, and during those hours in those designated spots, it’s allowed.

It’s important to note that even in these situations, double parking should be avoided whenever possible and should only be done when absolutely necessary. In general, it’s always best to park in a designated parking spot to avoid causing problems for other drivers and pedestrians.

How Do You Deal With Double Parking?

Dealing with someone who has double parked can be a bit tricky, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, there are a few things you can try:

  1. Wait for the driver to return: If the driver of the double-parked car is not present, you may want to wait for them to return before taking any action. Once the driver returns, you can politely ask them to move their car.
  2. Leave a note: If the driver is not present, you can leave a note on their car asking them to move it. Make sure to include your contact information in case they have any questions or need help finding a new spot.
  3. Call the police: If the double-parked car is blocking traffic or causing a safety hazard, you can call the police. They will be able to assess the situation and take appropriate action.
  4. Call parking enforcement: If the double-parked car is on a public street and blocking traffic, you can call your local parking enforcement to have the car towed away.
  5. Reach out to the property manager: If the double-parked car is in a private lot, you can reach out to the property manager and ask them to address the issue.

It’s important to remember that, when dealing with someone who has double parked, it’s important to be courteous and polite. The driver may not have realized that their actions were causing a problem, and a calm and respectful conversation may be all that is needed to resolve the issue.

It’s also important to follow local laws and check the regulations of the specific area you are in, different laws and regulations may apply.

e laws and potential consequences if they choose to continue doing so. Remind them of the potential impact on others, including emergency vehicles and pedestrians. Encourage them to find a legal parking spot.

When To Seek An Attorney

Ultimately, following laws and regulations helps create a safer and more respectful community for everyone. So next time you’re tempted to double park, take a moment to consider the potential consequences and seek out a legal parking spot instead. It may take a bit longer, but it’s worth avoiding any fines or negative impact on those around you.