Parking laws form an integral part of our daily life. Most of us rely on our vehicles for transportation, and so, parking laws play a crucial role in ensuring that vehicles are parked safely and correctly. However, different states have different parking laws that drivers need to follow.
This article provides an overview of the parking laws in Texas and the updates made in the last ten years. The purpose is to provide readers with a general understanding of the parking laws in Texas and the potential consequences of violating them.
Overview of Texas Parking Laws
Texas is known for its lenient driving and parking laws. However, it is essential to note that some parking laws still exist, and it is crucial to follow them to avoid getting into trouble with the law. The parking laws differ depending on the location and nature of the area being parked in. Below are some of the common laws that all Texas drivers should know.
Disabled Parking Spaces
Disabled parking spaces have become a major concern in Texas. As such, the Texas Parking laws regarding disabled parking spaces have been amended to cater to the needs of those with disabilities. The law states that reserved parking spaces should be appropriately marked, and only vehicles displaying a valid disabled parking permit should park in the space. Violating this law attracts a fine of up to $1,000.
Moreover, the law also prohibits modifying a disabled parking permit or using someone else’s disabled parking permit. This violation is associated with severe penalties that can lead to criminal charges.
Texas parking laws prohibit parking vehicles in specific zones, such as:
a. Bus Stops: It is illegal to park a vehicle in a bus stop or a zone that is reserved for public transportation. This violation can lead to a fine of $200 or more, depending on the severity of the offense.
b. Fire Lanes: Parking in a fire lane is illegal, and it can pose a serious safety risk for the public. In most cases, the law enforcement officers can tow the vehicle immediately without prior notice.
c. Red Zone: Parking in a red zone, which is commonly known as a “No Parking Zone,” is illegal in Texas. It is important to note that a red zone is different from a fire lane.
Parking on Sidewalks
The Texas parking laws prohibit parking on sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle paths. This violation can lead to a fine of up to $60 or more, depending on the severity of the offense. Moreover, parking on a sidewalk can impede the movement of pedestrians and wheelchair users, which can be dangerous.
Parking on Private Property
The Texas parking laws require a property owner’s consent before anyone can park on their private property. This law ensures that property owners have control over who parks on their property. However, some property owners allow public parking in their lots, but drivers must follow specific guidelines.
Updates on Texas Parking Laws in the Last Ten Years
Off-street Parking Regulations
The off-street parking regulations in Texas have been updated to ensure that businesses provide adequate parking spaces for their clients. The law requires new commercial developments to have a parking ratio of one parking space per 300 square feet.
Handicap Accessibility Regulations
The Texas Accessibility Standards laws have undergone several updates to ensure that parking spaces designed for disabled individuals meet all the standards. The law now requires that all new lots and garages comply with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Distracted Driving Laws
The Texas legislature recently passed laws that prohibit the use of electronic devices while driving, including GPS and texting while driving. The purpose of the law is to promote safe driving and reduce accidents that occur due to distracted driving.
Moving Violation Regulations
The new parking laws in Texas include increased penalties for moving violations. The fine for parking in a handicap parking spot has increased from $500 to $1,000, and the penalty for parking in a fire lane has increased from $50 to $200.
Parking for Electric Vehicles
The state legislature passed laws that allow commercial property owners to reserve spaces for electric vehicles charging stations. This new law aims to promote the use of electric vehicles and support the development of clean energy.
Autonomous Vehicles Regulations
Texas Parking laws have been updated to cater to the use of autonomous vehicles. The law now allows the testing and use of self-driving vehicles, but with specific regulations to ensure safety for all road users.
Consequences of Violating Texas Parking Laws
Violating Texas parking laws can lead to serious consequences, such as hefty fines, parking boots, or towing of the vehicle. Additionally, some violations can also lead to criminal penalties, including imprisonment.
The Texas parking laws aim to regulate and manage public parking spaces to ensure the safety and convenience of all road users. Therefore, it is essential to follow the rules and regulations to avoid getting into trouble with the law. This article provides an overview of the parking laws in Texas and the updates made in the last ten years. Understanding the laws can help drivers avoid possible consequences
Quick Guide to Texas Parking Laws
How much will I receive for a Parking Ticket in Texas?
There are Texas parking laws regarding statewide prices for certain kinds of parking violations. Texas parking law prohibits fines from being unreasonable, but these fines can be quite heavy in certain places—especially if you receive a citation in a large metropolis area, business district, or state university facility. In order to obtain prices, research Texas parking laws in your specific city or university.
Specific Texas Parking Laws
All Texas parking law is listed under the state’s Transportation Code. Section 545.301 provides specific laws for parking outside of a business or residence district. Some of these laws are described below:
1. An operator may not leave a vehicle parked outside a business or residence district unless leaving the vehicle off the main traveled part of the highway is not practicable, the vehicle does not obstruct the roadway, and the vehicle is clearly visible for at least 200 feet.
2. This Texas parking law does not apply to a vehicle that is disabled, to certain vehicles transporting materials, and tow trucks.
Section 545.302 provides very specific Texas parking laws. Some of these laws are described below:
(a) An operator may not park a vehicle:
• on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a street
• on a sidewalk
• in an intersection
• on a crosswalk
• between a safety zone and the adjacent curb or within 30 feet on the curb opposite of the safety zone
• alongside or opposite a street excavation or if the parked vehicle would obstruct traffic
• on a bridge or in a tunnel
• on a railroad track
• where an official sign or other Texas parking law prohibits parking
(b) Under Texas parking laws, a person cannot temporarily park:
• in front of a public or private driveway
• within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
• within 20 feet of a crosswalk
• with 30 feet of a flashing signal
• within 20 feet of a driveway entrance
• with 50 feet of the nearest fail or railroad crossing
• where an official sign prohibits parking
Section 545.303 provides very specific Texas parking laws:
• a car must be parked parallel to a curb and be parked with 18 inches of the curb
• a local authority by ordinance or Texas parking law may permit angle parking
• the Texas Department of Transportation may place signs anywhere they believe parking may obstruct parking
There are a number of Texas parking laws that tell companies how they are allowed to remove an illegally parked vehicle. To find a similar Texas parking law, visit the official website of the Texas legislature.
How do I pay for a ticket online?
Not all districts allow a person to pay for a parking ticket online. However, larger metropolitan areas like Houston and Dallas have a Ticket Payment System that allows a person to pay a parking ticket if they have the ticket number, offense date, and a valid credit card. You can do a quick search on the internet by searching for a ticket payment system in your local area.