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Thread: Vague law on Intersection parking

  1. #1
    LUVaRN Guest

    Vague law on Intersection parking

    What is the name of your state? Tennessee

    Hello everyone. I am new here and have a question on defending a ticket I got today. First of all, let me explain the situation. The parking ticket today was for improper parking- parking within an intersection.
    Our house faces a 3 way intersection, no stop sign, in a subdivision that is not a high traffic area. We sometimes park on the street because we don't have enough room in our driveway. We've lived in the house for 3 yrs. and others in the neighborhood park on the street as well. No problems.
    Suddenly we've got a police officer coming by saying he's received complaints. He told us we couldn't park on the street and block the intersection. So, I park further down by the mailbox about 10 ft. past the intersection. The same officer comes by today and says we've ingored his previous warnings that he's gonna give me a ticket.
    Now, I looked up the state laws in the Tennesse and the law says "It is illegal to park within an intersection". The law does not give specifics about how many feet within the intersection would make parking illegal. I assumed if I was parked out of the way of the intersection not blocking it that I was okay. When I asked him for a definition of intersection his response was "your house faces an intersection. You can't park on the street in front of your house."
    I am wondering if he can hold me to this just becuase our house faces the intersection does not mean the whole street in front of the house is considered off limits for parking does it? I have taken pictures of the intersection and measured how many feet I was actually parked from the intersection. Is there anything else I can do when I go to court? Thanks for your help. Sorry my post is so long.

  2. #2
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    If he provided you with a state code ssection, look that up on line or at your local library. Amd if its a municipal/city code section, look it up at city hall or the library. That should tell you.

    In CA its generally 20' from the bend in the curb though this is not universally enforced.


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  3. #3
    LUVaRN Guest

    No state code section

    I looked carefully over the ticket and cannot find a state code section anywhere. All it says is "improper parking" and "parking within an intersection". That is why I'm having trouble finding out specifically what our state law says. Is there anywhere I can find out which code section he cited me for? Thanks.

  4. #4
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Interestingly, my search through the TN motor vehicle/parking law did not reveal a definition for "intersection". While more likely a result of my half-assed search and not their failure to define their terms, if they did fail to do so, you have a good argument.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  5. #5
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    "Harvey and Me"
    15-604. Where Prohibited. No person shall park a vehicle in violation of any sign placed or erected by the state or city, nor:

    (1) On a sidewalk.

    (2) In front of a public or private driveway.

    (3) Within an intersection or within fifteen (15) feet thereof.

    (4) Within fifteen (15) feet of a fire hydrant.

    (5) Within a pedestrian crosswalk.

    (6) Within fifty (50) feet of a railroad crossing.

    (7) Within twenty (20) feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station, and on the side of the street opposite the entrance to any fire station within seventy-five (75) feet of the entrance.

    (8) Alongside or opposite any street excavation or obstruction when other traffic would be obstructed.

    (9) On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street.

    (10) Upon any bridge.

    (11) Alongside any curb painted yellow or red by the municipality.

    (1970 Code, 9-504)

    Last edited by BelizeBreeze; 07-07-2004 at 11:01 AM.
  6. #6
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Lovely cite of a statute that doesn't answer the question. Still no defintion, although we know we can't park within fifteen feet of it

    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  7. #7
    JETX is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Somnambulist University
    From the "Tennessee Drivers Handbook" (Chapter 8):
    "Stop Lines
    White stop lines are painted across pavement lanes, usually at intersections, to indicate the vehicle stopping position before traffic signs or signals. If the motorist is required to stop, by traffic signs or signals, at the intersection with no stop lines, the motorist must stop before the crosswalk."

    If the intersection does have these 'stop lines', then I would presume that sets the 'boundary' of the intersection, and you can't park within 15 feet of same. If the intersection does NOT have 'stop lines', then the boundary would be set by continuing the curb from the intersecting street and you could not park within 15 feet of this imaginary line.

  8. #8
    LUVaRN Guest
    The intersection does not have the white stop lines, so that is why I think I was not unlawfully parked, if we assume the definition of an intersection requires me to park 15 feet away. I am thinking about explaining all of this to the judge though becuase originally the officer only told us "not to block the intersection", so I parked where I was not blocking the intersection. From my understanding, I was doing exactly what he told me. Any guesses on my chances of getting it thrown out?

  9. #9
    BelizeBreeze is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    "Harvey and Me"
    Any guesses on my chances of getting it thrown out?
    Slim to none. The Tennessee Statutes Annotated are very clear and you have offered no proof that your car was not within the 15 foot area.

    Pay the fine and move on in life. Perhaps to your local City Council to petition to have the curbs marked pursuant to state statute.

    One other thing. You never mentioned where in Tennessee this occurred. Most communities have adopted the quoted statute into local ordinances either entirely or by reference. However, some have not. And parking is regulated by local ordinance. So, go to city hall and get a copy of the local ordinance to determine what exactly they state.

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