Illegal Stopping on Roadway
There are a number of accidents that are caused each year in the state of Georgia because motor vehicle drivers have stopped in the road. When these types of accident occur there is the significant potential for serious injuries and even fatalities to occur. Individuals who are charged with illegal stopping on the roadway frequently find it essential to retain the services of skilled legal counsel. Another wise idea is to understand some of the key details about illegal stopping in the state of Georgia.
Applicable Georgia Law Regarding Illegal Stopping on the Roadway
Several laws in the state of Georgia pertain to illegal stopping on the roadway. All motorists in the state of Georgia should understand and appreciate exactly how these types of charges are made.
Motor vehicle operators are prohibited from halting a motor vehicle, even if momentarily, on a controlled-access highway except when doing so is necessary to keep clear from colliding with other traffic or such a stop is done in compliance with law enforcement or a traffic-control device.
Locations in which individuals are prohibited from stopping a motor vehicle in the state of Georgia include the following areas:
- At any location where signs prohibit parking.
- At any place where official signs prohibit parking
- Between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within thirty feet of points on the curb immediately opposite the ends of a safety zone
- In the area between roadways of a divided highway
- In the proximity of a street excavation or obstruction when stopping even temporarily would serve to obstruct traffic
- On any controlled-access highway
- On a bridge or other elevated structure on a highway or in a highway tunnel
- On a crosswalk
- On railroad tracks
- On the roadway side of any vehicle stopped or parked at the edge of a curb of a street
- On a sidewalk
- Within an intersection
Georgia law has created several exceptions to these restrictions on stopping. Motor vehicle operators are allowed to stand, park, or stop a motor vehicle when doing is so “necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in compliance with law or in the directions of a police officer or official traffic-control device.” Motor vehicle drivers are also permitted to pick up waste or similar materials but must place their motor vehicle’s hazard lights on for the entire duration.
Another exception acknowledged by law in the state of Georgia is that motor vehicle drivers are permitted to momentarily stand or park a motor vehicle to either drop-off or pick up passengers in several areas including:
- At any place where official signs prohibit parking
- In front of a public or private driveway
- On the side of a street opposite the entrance to any fire station within seventy-five feet of such entrance
- Within fifteen feet of a fire hydrant
- Within twenty feet of a crosswalk at an intersection
- Within twenty feet of the driveway entrance to any fire station
- Within thirty feet upon the approach to any flashing signal, stop sign, yield sign or other types of traffic control device located at the side of the road
- Within fifty feet of the nearest railroad crossing
Illegal Stopping on the Roadway and DUI Charges
A surprising number of illegal stopping on the roadway cases involve motor vehicle operators who are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In many cases, illegal stopping violations serve as the basis for a lawful stop by law enforcement which later results in the motor vehicle operator being charged with driving under the influence. Individuals should also be aware that violations of stopping laws can result in motor vehicle operator’s vehicles being impounded. When a vehicle is impounded, law enforcement is permitted to search an individual’s vehicle which can potentially result in the discovery of evidence that the individual has been driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
The Risk of Accidents While a Vehicle Is Parked
No matter whether a vehicle parked in a legal or illegal manner, there is a significant risk of parked vehicle accidents occurring. One study suggests that one out of every five motor vehicle accidents occurs while a vehicle is parked. Motor vehicle drivers in the stage of Georgia should always be prepared to follow certain guidelines if an accident occurs while a motor vehicle is parked. These guidelines include the following recommendations:
- Do Not Try to Drive Away. Individuals should not attempt to drive away from the scene of the accident until documentation about how the accident occurred has been properly recorded. If a parked vehicle is struck by another vehicle, there is a risk that the other vehicle might flee the scene of the accident before information can be gathered.
- Exchange Info. If a parked vehicle is struck, it is a wise idea to exchange information with the motor vehicle driver who is liable for the collision.
- Talked to Involved Parties. Individuals who are involved in a park car accident should talk to any witnesses who might have seen the accident occur. Individuals should also talk to law enforcement who will want to assess how the accident occurred.
Retain the Services of a Seasoned Attorney
Even though parked vehicle accidents occur, there are many potential defenses for individuals to respond to illegal stopping charges. One of the strongest potential defenses is if a motor vehicle operator was either standing or parked in one of the exceptions recognized by Georgia law. While the resulting penalties from an illegal parking citation might seem insignificant, individuals should remember that being convicted of being illegally parked can later be used as evidence if an injured party seeks to initiate a civil action. For individuals who are involved in motor vehicle accidents, it is a wise idea to quickly retain the services of a talented attorney who is knowledgeable about the various laws and regulations regarding parking.
Retain the Services of a Skilled Georgia Traffic Ticket Attorney
In a number of situations, illegal stopping charges including motor vehicle operators who have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In some cases, motor vehicle drivers have even fallen asleep or blacked out in a vehicle. The legal counsel at Yeargan, Barber & Kert knows how to help individuals respond to many types of traffic citations in the state of Georgia. Our legal team is seasoned in helping clients obtain the best potential results.