Sound Off

Sound off: Are stop signs in grocery store parking lots legally enforceable?

Officer Jim Welsh of the Lawrence Police Department’s Traffic Safety Unit provided this information: The stop signs that are often in front of the buildings directly are not enforceable because they are on private property. Examples would be the stop signs in front of Hy-Vee or in front of Michaels/World Market. The stop signs posted at the edges of the parking lot are technically enforceable, although we would not write it as a stop sign violation. The violation would be failure to yield the right of way when entering a roadway. This violation is enforceable if a stop sign is posted or not. In other words: You have to stop when leaving private property, whether it is posted or not.


akuna 6 years, 3 months ago

Does failure to yield right of way apply if there is no other car to yield to?

Mike Frizzell 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it does.

8-1555. Vehicle emerging from alley, building, private road or dirveway. The driver of a vehicle emerging from an alley, building, private road or driveway within a business or residence district shall stop such vehicle immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or onto the sidewalk area extending across such alley, building entrance, road or driveway, or in the event there is no sidewalk area, shall stop at the point nearest the street to be entered where the driver has a view of approaching traffic thereon.


Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

No. Those goofy traffic circles are proof of that.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

Yes, circles are different, but they are the same under the law. The facts as kindly provided by Operation100 News aren't really relevant as they address moving from private to public property, not traffic on one or the other. For instance, one might sit at the stop sign at Dillons and powerbrake their fratboy Mustang until the tires smoke off and not break any law. Dillon's would have to complain for the police to become involved, and even then it would be trespass or something like that, not a moving violation.

If anyone knows the actual law concerning traffic that doesn't leave private property, quote it please.

"I'm amazed traffic circles are so difficult for some."

I amazed people don't turn left into them when it is obvious there is no oncoming traffic. I don't remember becoming that sheep. Oh wait, I didn't. I'll go left into one about as often as I'll run a red light with no oncoming traffic which means as often as not. Nothing is dumber than sitting in the eastbound turn lane of 23rd at Harper while traffic passes from behind at 50 when there is no oncoming traffic. I'll risk the ticket to avoid the danger of dying in a rear end collision. That's called "proactive defensive driving". :-)

I think they should rename them "traffic suggestions".

The_Voice_of_Reason 6 years, 3 months ago

Good question, I'd like an answer to that one too.

KS 6 years, 3 months ago

I suppose that if someone does not stop at the sign on private property and hits/injures someone, the driver would have a lot more to worry about than a stop sign infraction. Oh, where did common sense go?

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

They aren't in Florida. Probably not here either, otherwise we'd have no Kansas Speedway.

classclown 6 years, 3 months ago

Something I've wondered about for a long time. Police can't issue citations on private property as pointed out in this Sound Off article. Why are they allowed to issue them for people that park in the handicapped spots without the proper tags or placards?

In the interest of preventing the inevitable lecture from those that will assume I park in them illegally, my wife has handicapped tags so is able to park in them. As I'm not handicapped, I don't park in them even with tags on the car.

On another note, while there seems to be an awful lot vehicles with the tags/placards around here, I haven't really noticed too many parked in the spots without them.

kernal 6 years, 3 months ago

"Why are they allowed to issue them for people that park in the handicapped spots without the proper tags or placards?" Probably because those parking spaces are designated for the handicapped under federal law, the same reason most business parking lots are required to have those spaces available for the handicapped.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

Can local cops pop you for a federal law? It would seem a little out of their jurisdiction. I'd guess it's more an exception sort of thing written into the law since the FBI is too busy hiding secrets from the CIA to write tickets for unlawful parking. I got stopped by a sheriff for something like 50 MPH on Mass and I suspect he didn't even write me a warning because of jurisdiction. I think he just wanted to check out the Vette. Cops really seem to like that car, one even yelled out his window to me that it sounded real nice a while back. It sounds even better with open headers. :-) The first time I started it after doing the heads (just running the headers) my wife ran scared, literally.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

First, County Sheriffs have jurisdiction over the entire county, including any cities that are within that county. You were just lucky that he decided not to write you that speeding ticket.

Secondly, under a combination of KSA 8-1,125 and 8-1,130, Kansas Standard Traffic Ordinance 87 (Accessible Parking) states:

"No person shall stop, stand or park any vehicle in a parking space, whether on public or private property, which is clearly marked as being reserved for the use of persons with a disability or persons responsible for the transportation of persons with a disability unless such vehicle bears a special license plate, permanent placard or temporary placard issued pursuant to K.S.A. 8-161 or K.S.A. 8-1,125, and amendments thereto, and is being operated by or used for the transportation of a person with a disability or disabled veteran. In addition to the temporary placard, a person issued such temporary placard shall carry the state or county receipt showing the name of the person who is issued such temporary placard. If a parking space on private property is clearly marked as being reserved for the use of a specified person with a disability it shall be unlawful for any other person to park in such space."

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

I'm not sure about the county sheriff having jurisdiction in a city. If that was the case, why have city cops?

As for the handicapped spots, I thought I addressed that exception although my impression it was allowed by federal and not state and related to the individuals with disabilities act.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

Because County Sheriffs have jurisdiction over the entire county, including the cities within it. Lawrence, Baldwin, Eudora...these are all cities that reside WITHIN Douglas County. City police are responsible for responding to calls within the city, but just like how State Troopers have statewide jurisdiction, County Sheriffs can take action anywhere in the county, at their own discretion.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

But the crime was committed when he left the public road. They can issue a ticket or have donuts and work the radar gun anywhere.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

Knowledge is power.

Kansas STO 118 - Driving Through or On Private Property to Avoid Traffic Control Devices.

"No person shall drive through the property of a gasoline service station or the service entrance of any public or private property adjacent to any street intersection to avoid any official traffic control device or short cut from one street to another."

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

Even your response here indicates that you still don't know it. Of course they can ticket you on private property. It does not matter where you stopped your car; there aren't any "safety zones" where officers can't stop you if you are in violation of an enforceable traffic infraction or misdemeanor. In order to violate STO 118, you've gotta cut through private property anyway.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

Of paramount concern is stopping in front of Target to watch the college girls cross. Stop signs there make sense.

JackMcKee 6 years, 3 months ago

better yet are the maroons that drive the wrong way down a parking row. I like to turn on my high beams and lay on the horn whilst staring the offender down. They usually need a clean pair of pantaloons afterward.

JackMcKee 6 years, 3 months ago

yes, and I'm sure you appreciate my two upward facing fingers that provide you with parking goalposts.

Liberty275 6 years, 3 months ago

That's not very nice. Besides, all those oldies that get confused and go down the wrong way are wearing Depends, so they won't need pantaloons, just another diaper when you scare them.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 3 months ago

Why would you even think of running a stop sign no matter where it is? It was put there for your and other driver's safety. Why would you think that your failure to take time to get ready to go wherever you are late for takes precidence over safety? Drivers today are getting worse and worse in their driving skills and attitudes. Seems that the anaonmity of crouching behind the sterring wheel of about 1000 pounfs of moving metal and destruction gives some careless people the notion that they are the only ones on the road who have any right of way at all and I see it every day and everyplace.

DillonBarnes 6 years, 3 months ago

Eh, think about those stop signs in front of that shopping center down off 31st and Iowa. Michaels, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and whatever the other two are. They have something like four stop signs along that road. I drive it cautiously, giving right of way to pedestrians. However, I don't see any reason to make a complete stop at every sign.

Nathan Anderson 6 years, 3 months ago

Probably because you're doing less than 10 mph in a parking lot, which usually has 10 stop signs if it has 1. I'd say the stop signs themselves distract drivers from observing pedestrian traffic. I see no problem w/ rolling through these stop signs. I don't make a habit of treating parking lots like Le Mans.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

Just FYI, the average car weighs roughly 3500 lbs., a lot more than "1000 pounds".

tscaf2000 6 years, 3 months ago

You know I worked with a Yeoman in the Navy...he believed in SPELL check. pounds not pounfs. But today the average driver thinks, that they are in a NASCAR event. Nobody cares for the other driver. Thats why there is so much road rage. WE'VE lost our common since and replaced it with stupidity.

Enlightenment 6 years, 3 months ago

Ok, while we're on the driving issue, here is my big problem with local drivers. When turning onto a multi-lane roadway, enter the nearest lane and then make a safe lane change if you need to be in a different lane. Approximately 75 percent of the time, I've observed drivers turning onto a multi-lane roadway cutting across 2-3 lanes instead of entering the nearest lane. This is not only lazy driving, it's dangerous. Many times if I see a car at a stop waiting to turn onto the street I'm on, I will move over to allow them in only to have them cut across multiple lanes and cut me off.

Curtis Lange 6 years, 3 months ago

Thank you! Giant pet peeve of mine as well.

As far as the stop sign in parking lot topic; I don't stop either unless there is a pedestrian present. Overusing stop signs (like the Pine Ridge shopping area) is a terrible idea. It has been proven time and time again that NOT using signage increases safety. Why? People are more cautious when they don't know what to expect. Instead of a lot of stop signs around here, they need to be yield signs...

Dixie Jones 6 years, 3 months ago

my son backed into someone at a gas station in north lawrence and the officer that responded said they can not write a ticket or a report on it because its on private property, anyone know about this?? is that true??? also on another note, if your not supose to talk on your cell phone and drive, why was the officer that i was next to in lawrence last evening for 8 blocks talking on his phone???

DillonBarnes 6 years, 3 months ago

Talking on your cell phone while driving is not illegal in Kansas, texting is, but not talking.

Food_for_Thought 6 years, 3 months ago

Unless a traffic misdemeanor/felony was involved (no insurance, DUI, etc.), an accident that occurred on private property is not required to be reported to the state; however, you may demand a report from the officer if you wish the incident to be. If there were only traffic infractions involved, the officer cannot write any citations, but he/she CAN take a report to document the accident.

Also, as of now, it is not illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving. It is currently only illegal to text, surf the internet, etc. on your phone while driving.

killjoy 6 years, 3 months ago

I do support the death penalty in Kansas. failure to turn into the proper lane, failure to move out of the left lane on the hwy., failure to signal when changing lanes, failure to signal at roundabouts, pulling up to a stoplight when going straight in the right-turn know, serious offenses.

tscaf2000 6 years, 3 months ago

Are they enforceable by the Police? No. Why? It's private property,thats why...unless asked for assistance, by the owners of said property, then the Police can pretend to be Mister BAD. But other than that...You can run them all day long. Just wouldn't understand, why you'd do it. Your safety and the safety of others would be in question. Let alone the law suit for your stupid act of running a stop sign. My advice...They may be dumb things to have in/on parking lots. But it mean's someone/body has already taken the shot of hitting someone and paid that price. Use your head. This isn't NASCAR.

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