In Canada, there are legal rules to parking your car near a Stop Sign. You must have assumed that you may pull over whenever you see a stop sign. The law on motor vehicles, however, does not support this assertion.
So, how close can you park to a stop sign? At the very least, you should stop the car 30 feet from the stop sign. And the distance may vary by a few feet depending on where you plan to park.
You may think memorizing all the distances is difficult, but this is not true. You’ll be able to cover most of the places you need to be if you recall the places indicated in this article.
Understanding the Stop Sign:
If you do not know what type of stop sign we are talking about here, let’s first give you some information about the sign.
- Shape: Octagonal
- Colour: Red and White
- Placement: Right side of the road
The approaching traffic should see the sign from 3 meters away while approaching.
- Meaning: Complete stop when approaching a marked line.
The driver must stop at the designated stop line drawn over the road when a stop sign is visible. If there is no line, the driver should look for a crosswalk.
Lastly, there must be a fire hydrant or waiting station near the sign if there is no crosswalk or intersection. So, stop your car, ensure you are not breaking any traffic rules and proceed further.
What is the Safe Distance to Park Near a Stop Sign?
Before giving you the information about where you should stop, let us tell you where it is not allowed to park, stop, or stand:
- Close to a crosswalk at an intersection
- Any marked zone saved for pedestrian
- Near a construction site
- On a railway track
Now let’s come to the question of where to stop:
- 5 to 6 feet if it is a driveway
- For railroad crossing, consider 50 feet
- 15 feet away near a fire hydrant
- A gap of 20 feet for a crosswalk
- Park 20 feet away from a fire station driveway
- 30 feet of traffic light stop or yield sign
What Will Happen If You Disobey the Stop Sign?
Violating the rules of parking or stopping is seemingly a harmless action by the parker himself. However, it might not be the same for the other drivers because they cannot see the sign if the other driver is blocking it with the car.
Mostly, your concern for the parking distance shows that you are considerate as a driver and think of your fellow drivers driving behind you. If you are the first one to drive through an intersection and you park the car at a safe distance, you are eliminating the chances of a possible car crash or accident.
Usually, the places near a stop sign are empty, and it is tempting to take it for parking or standing. But keep in mind that it is illegal, and you should never park in a place anywhere near the radius we have mentioned in the chart before.
Fine/ Charges that you may have to face:
In Canada, traffic tickets due to disobeying stop signs are pretty much common regardless of where you reside. The violation may not cause an accident, but your insurance company will surely use it against you.
- You need to pay around $110 for disregarding the sign
- Your driving record will get 3 demerit points
- A conviction for 3 years
- Your insurer may raise the car insurance premiums for the highest 3 years.
What Can You Do to Avoid Confusion?
For people residing in larger cities, it is easier to park the car as many paid parking places, or garage is available in almost all the public areas. Although it may seem expensive, you do not need to worry about the parking fine.
Another factor that may help you understand the traffic rules more precisely is understanding specific terminologies. They are:
Parking refers to when you are stopping the car for more than a few minutes. And also, you are not loading any stuff or people. In some states, if you are still in the car and not turning it off, it will be considered parking according to the duration.
The few moments you need to load any people or drop them off is known as standing. While standing, you are not allowed to drop or load any package.
As the word implies, stopping is when you stop the car to follow any traffic signal for a moment.
You can understand that the distance from the stop sign to your car also depends on the purpose for which you want to stop the vehicle.
How Do You Fight the Penalty?
Since the penalty will remain on your driving record, it is not good news. Therefore, you must pay the fines as soon as possible as this is the only way to solve the issue and clear your name.
However, since there is no specific rule in the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario for how long you need to stop or the distance, you may think that you are falsely accused with the fine. In that case, you can file to the court or hire a lawyer.
In the Court:
If you think you have enough evidence to show the court that the traffic officer has falsely accused you, file the ticket in the court.
After filing the ticket to the court, there is an option you can choose where a meeting is arranged with the prosecutor. In the forum, you must assure the court that the case has enough evidence and that a trial is the only way to solve the issue.
On the other hand, if the case can be solved with a substitute offence, the court and accused driver proceed with the case in that way.
One thing we want to mention is that when the case goes to trial, the chances of you winning the case will increase if the police officer is absent on the day.
Hiring a Lawyer:
The second and most reliable option is to hire a local traffic lawyer. You can also consult with a paralegal. Since the procedures of cases regarding traffic laws are complex and need a lot of strategic knowledge to solve, you need the help of an experienced lawyer in this field.
Isn’t it better to know where you can park and where not to before other drivers think you are a lousy one? Now that you know how close you can park to a stop sign, you should follow them to avoid such situations and even the unnecessary parking fine.
Even if you cannot remember the distance you need to keep for parking your vehicle, try to park at least 30 feet between you and the stop sign. But remember that the length will vary in different states. Therefore, to avoid confusion, do your research on the traffic control law of your area.