IDAHO FALLS — Getting fined for blocking the sidewalk, even if you are mostly on your driveway, may not be something you expect.
Yet that’s what happened to one Idaho Falls resident.
“I have lived in Idaho Falls 10 years,” said the man, who asked to be anonymous. “I don’t know how many times I have parked in my own driveway. You come out when the evening is over and find a ticket. You go down the road, and there is no one else getting a ticket doing the exact same thing you did.”
After looking at the way the law is written, he agrees he violated it. Idaho Code 49-660 states “no person shall stop, stand or park a vehicle … on a sidewalk”.
But the man says he still has a problem with the enforcement.
“If you are going to have a law, be consistent (in enforcing it), or don’t have that law,” he says.
Idaho Falls Police Department spokesperson Jessica Clements says parking laws have not changed, but people may not be as familiar with them. People get comfortable in their own routines and can get upset when they find out what they are doing is a violation, she says.
Though it is illegal to block the sidewalk, Clements says officers are “far too busy” to notice every time someone breaks a parking law.
Another law that many people aren’t aware of is Idaho Code 49-661, which indicates a car has to park on the right-hand curb. Many complaints come from this specific issue, according to Lt. Shane Kaiser of the Traffic Division.
“I take a lot of those complaints, and I think people generally feel there is nothing wrong with parking on the wrong side of the road, but you got to drive against the flow of traffic to make that happen,” Kaiser says.
He added it was good for the public to know about these laws because they would like to improve the way they enforce them.
“These are against the law for a reason. We are just trying to gain compliance with the way people park — that’s the whole goal of it,” says Kaiser.
Here is a list of other laws police want you to know about so you can avoid getting a ticket:
- Window tinting needs to have a light transmission of not less than 35% with a tolerance limit of plus or minus 3% on front side windows (full law regarding all windows is written in Idaho Code 49-944)
- When turning, you must turn into the inside lane (49-644)
- You must be parked within 18 inches of the curb (49-661)
- Two license plates are required for general motor vehicles (49-443)
- You must stop when a school bus has its stop sign out unless you are “oncoming traffic on a highway of more than three (3) lanes”. (49-1422)
- Obstructing an intersection (49-614)
- When selling your car, remove your license plates and registration, and contact the DMV. If you don’t, you could still be held liable for events that happen while you are the registered owner.