Can I Legally Use A Parking Lot To Avoid A Red Light In Maine?
If you regularly travel up and down "strip" roads, like Western Avenue in Augusta or Broadway Street in Bangor, you have probably been infuriated by all the red lights at least a few times.
There is a good chance that, at least once or twice, you thought "I could just cut through this parking lot to avoid this light!"
Right? And, of course, it would be perfectly fine to do that, right? After all, you are just turning right on red, something that is perfectly legal in the State of Maine.
Well, apparently, it is NOT legal to pull such a move.
According to the Maine Legislature website,
An operator may not operate a motor vehicle through a parking area to avoid obeying or conforming to the requirements of a traffic control device.
When you think about it, it really does make perfect sense. Maneuvers like that make it more likely that you may collide with a vehicle entering the lot or with a vehicle already in the parking lot.
After all, if you are going through a parking lot in order to avoid waiting at a red light there is a good chance that you are not exactly rolling along at a "parking lot speed". If you were, what would be the point of ducking into the parking lot to avoid the red light? You may as well just sit there at the red light bopping your head to whatever is on the radio. Right?
According to the website, it is a Class E crime. Based on what we have been able to find from several sources, including the Not Guilty Attorneys website, the fine could be as much as $1,000, but it will more likely be about $250.
Clearly, we don't want to see you break the law, but it is just as important that we drive safely, regardless of how legal (or illegal) something is. So, please be safe and look out for each other.