If a utility company is blocking your driveway, you may be conflicted about whether this is legal. Besides, they are likely working on your house or a house nearby and will be moving soon. But this is definitely an issue if you can’t get out of your driveway. So, can a utility company block your driveway?
A utility company cannot and should not block your driveway for any period of time. If it does, you should contact the company immediately and ask them to move the vehicle or even contact the police.
In most cases, the company would immediately contact the workers to move the vehicle to a legal parking spot. This article will look at the legalities of parking in front of a driveway or even in a driveway,
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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!
Even though it is against the law to park in front of a driveway and block the entrance, many people still do it.
We have made a list of products that you could use to deter people from parking in or in front of your driveway.
Our top picks from Amazon to deter someone from blocking your driveway:
1. No Parking Sign – You can place this on your driveway (not in the street) to deter people from parking there.
2. No Parking Stencil – This could be painted on your driveway (not in the street in front of your driveway).
3. Security Cameras – Ideal for gathering evidence to prove someone is trespassing.
Blocking a Driveway
It’s considered impolite to block a driveway by parking your car in front of the entrance. It also violates traffic regulations.
This section will focus on what blocking a driveway entails and what you should do if someone blocks yours.
Is It Illegal to Block a Driveway?
In most states, it is illegal to park in front of and block someone’s driveway. The regulations do not mention the driveway itself but the drop curb that is used to access the driveway.
Someone blocking your driveway could be issued a parking ticket if you contact the local police department or dial 311 and inform them of the parking violation.
It is not a parking violation to park in front of your own driveway, though.
How Close Can You Park to a Residential Driveway?
You should leave at least 5 feet of space between your car and a residential driveway. If you park too close to a driveway, your car could obstruct the driver’s view and be deemed unsafe parking.
The exact distance could differ per state since parking regulations are not federal. Non-residential driveways typically should have more space, up to 20 feet, for larger vehicles to access the driveway.
How Do I Stop Utility People From Blocking My Driveway?
There is no legal way to prevent utility vehicles from blocking your driveway, but you should contact the company immediately when they do. Inform the company that their vehicle is blocking your driveway, and if they do not move it immediately, you will contact the police.
Usually, this will pressure the company to contact the driver and instruct them to move the car.
In the rare case that the utility vehicle does not move, use the non-emergency number of your local police department to complain and request a parking official to be dispatched.
You might also enjoy our post on If You Can Park a Food Truck in Your Driveway
What Is Considered Blocking a Driveway?
When another vehicle or object is partially or entirely blocking a driveway so that the owner of the property cannot access the driveway with their vehicle. This is considered blocking a driveway.
Blocking a driveway is a parking violation that is strictly enforced in large metropolitan cities. In smaller rural towns, the police might be more lenient and simply ask the vehicle owner to remove it immediately.
Can You Call a Tow Truck if Someone Is Blocking Your Driveway?
If the local police department has issued a ticket and placed it on the car, but you need it moved immediately, you can contact a private towing company. The police can also arrange for the car to be towed.
The owner of the car would be responsible for the towing costs. It would be best to do everything through the police to ensure that you are following the law and that you can’t get in trouble.
Laws Around Blocking a Driveway
Now that we looked at what blocking a driveway is let’s focus on the laws surrounding this traffic violation. It might surprise you what can happen to your car if you park it in an illegal spot.
What Can You Legally Do if Someone Blocks Your Driveway?
When someone blocks your driveway, you can call the non-emergency number of your local police precinct or 311 and report the vehicle. In most cases, the police will dispatch an officer to inspect and ticket the car.
You can also ask the police officer to tow the vehicle away from your driveway to enable you to use it again. Most police departments offer this service and will help you at the cost of the owner of the car.
How Do I Report Utility Trucks Blocking My Driveway?
You can report a utility vehicle blocking your driveway by calling 311. This is a citizens hotline where you can lodge complaints that are not emergencies. This line helps to keep the 911 line clear.
You can also contact the local police department number and complain directly to them. They will ask for your location and dispatch an available officer to issue a ticket to the illegally parked car.
You might also enjoy our post on Whether You Can Park a Boat in Your Driveway
Is Parking Opposite Someone’s Driveway Illegal?
Parking directly opposite someone’s driveway, meaning on the other side of the road, is not illegal. The driveway owner should still be able to access their property if the street is wide enough.
If the street is not wide enough and the parked car obstructs the driveway, the owner can contact the police. Although, the police might not ticket the car since it is not technically parked in an illegal spot.
Can You Legally Stop Someone From Parking Outside Your House?
You can’t legally stop someone from parking outside your house since no one has the right to reserve public road parking spaces. If the car is not violating any parking regulations, it can legally be parked outside your house.
It’s illegal to place a cone on the parking spot in front of your house as this could be seen as an obstruction. You can only call the police if the car is blocking your driveway or access to your property.
What Is the Law About Blocking Driveways?
It is a traffic violation to park in such a manner that you partially or entirely block a residential driveway. You need to leave at least 5 feet of clear space between your car and a driveway.
If you want to report a car blocking a driveway, you can call 311 – not to be confused with 911. 311 is a police line for citizen complaints that are not emergencies.
The police precinct will dispatch an officer to inspect the car and determine if it is a parking violation.
Towing and Signage
Now let’s focus on how you can prevent people from blocking your driveway. You can never alter public roads, meaning placing your own signs or painting the street. However, there are precautions that you can take on your own property.
Can You Use Traffic Cones Outside Your House?
It is illegal to place traffic cones outside your house in an attempt to stop people from using ‘your’ parking space. You cannot reserve a parking space on a public road, so the spot is not technically yours, even if it is in front of your house.
Not only is it illegal to use a traffic cone outside your house, but it’s also inconsiderate to people who need a parking space.
In major cities like New York City, police officers would remove the cones from the street if they are placed illegally.
Can You Tow Someone Parked in Your Driveway?
You would need to report the vehicle to the police and wait for them to dispatch an officer to issue a ticket. After a ticket is issued, you can contact a towing company to move the car out of the way.
The police might also offer a service to tow the car out of the way, be sure to gather and keep all the evidence of the ticket. With the evidence, you can pass down the towing service costs to the car’s owner.
Can You Call a Tow Truck if Someone Is Blocking Your Driveway?
You cannot call a tow truck immediately when someone parks and blocks your driveway. You would first need to contact the police and have them issue a ticket to the car’s owner.
Once the car has a ticket, you can contact a tow truck to move the car. The tow truck will move the car away from your driveway. The police can also arrange a tow truck to move the car if you request so.
Can You Have a Car Towed for Parking in Front of Your House?
You can have a car towed for parking in front of your house if they have been issued a ticket. You can’t ask the towing company to move any car you want to, so you would need to contact the police department first.
Call 311 and have a police officer dispatched to write a ticket for the car blocking your driveway’s owner. After a ticket is issued, you can contact a towing company to move the car away from your driveway.
Personal Property Parking Rights
There are certain rights that you have as the owner of a residential property, but there are others that you do not have. Let’s dive into your rights as a landowner, specifically those related to parking.
Do I Have the Right to Park Outside My Own House?
You do have the right to park outside your house, but so does every other car have the right to park outside your house. A parking spot on a public street can not be reserved for one specific person or vehicle.
You are also not allowed to place a cone or any other obstacle in a parking spot as a way to deter other cars from parking in ‘your’ spot. If the car is not blocking your driveway, it is legal to park in front of your house.
Can My Neighbors Use My Driveway?
If your neighbor has an easement that allows them to use your driveway for any specific reason, they are legally allowed to use it. Inspect your deed and ask your neighbors if they have an easement.
If your neighbor cannot produce an easement or other legal document that permits them to use your driveway, you can call the police.
It would be handled as a trespassing case, for which the police might issue a warning to your neighbor to stay off your driveway.
How Do I Stop Someone From Parking on My Property?
If you notice the same driver constantly parking on your property, the first option is to talk to them politely. They might not be aware that they are trespassing. Your next option is to put up a “no parking“ sign.
You should be aware of your state rules regarding parking signs, and you are not allowed to install your own ‘no parking’ sign on a public street.
Although it might help deter people from parking on your private property.
How to Keep Cars off Your Driveway?
You can keep cars off your driveway by putting up a ‘no parking’ sign on your driveway. People are less likely to park somewhere where it is explicitly prohibited. You can’t place the sign on the street in front of your house, but you can place it on the driveway.
If the sign still doesn’t seem to be working, you can install security cameras to see exactly which cars are parking on your driveway.
This can later be submitted to police as evidence if you intend to accuse the car owner of trespassing.
When Can You Park in Front of a Driveway?
It’s not legal to park in front of a driveway for any reason. When you park in front of a driveway, you block the owner of the driveway’s access to their property. This would probably lead to them calling the police.
If you park your car in front of a driveway, you can expect the police to issue a ticket, and your car will also be towed away from the driveway.
You will also be expected to cover the costs of the towing company.
You might also enjoy our post on How Much Weight a Driveway Can Hold
Can I Park in Front of Someone’s Driveway?
You should not park in front of someone’s driveway. This is illegal, and you will get a ticket from the police department. Your car will also likely be towed away from the driveway if you leave your car unattended.
You should not park in front of any residential or non-residential driveways or dropped curbs. You can also not park in someone’s driveway, which would be considered trespassing.
You’d probably get a visit from the police if you consistently park in illegal spots.
Can I Clamp a Car Parked in My Driveway?
It’s always best to seek legal advice or police confirmation before you clamp another car. Even if the car is parked in your driveway and is trespassing, it’s necessary to follow the correct legal steps.
If someone is parking in your driveway, take a photo or video as evidence and when you see the car owner, have a straightforward conversation with them and ask them to move their car.
If that does not work, you should contact the police.
Is It Considered Parking if You Are Still in the Car?
If your car stands still for longer than is necessary to load/unload something, it is classified as ‘parked’. This is true even if you’re sitting in the car and waiting for someone/something.
When you’re only standing still to unload something, it is not considered parking. However, standing still (or parking) in front of someone’s driveway is considered impolite or rude.
If you can, always stop in a legal parking spot.
A utility company should not block the entrance to your driveway, no matter the reason.
You can immediately contact the utility company or approach the utility workers and ask them to move the vehicle. If they do not cooperate, you can contact the police.