Parking in Fire Lanes
in North Carolina

OK, I've just about reached the end of my patience with people who park in fire lanes and leave their cars unattended. This is particularly annoying because Mr. Uncle Daddy has friends and acquaintances who do this and claim that, because the fire lanes are on the store's private property, they are not breaking the law.

I am not an attorney (the State Bar is biased against cats, by the way), but I'm smart enough to actually check the North Carolina General Statutes to see if is against the law or not. Here's the result. What do YOU think? (I've highlighted the relevant part in red.)

North Carolina General Statutes

20-162. Parking in front of private driveway, fire hydrant, fire station, intersection of curb lines or fire lane.

(a) No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon a highway in front of a private driveway or within 15 feet in either direction of a fire hydrant or the entrance to a fire station, nor within 25 feet from the intersection of curb lines or if none, then within 15 feet of the intersection of property lines at an intersection of highways; provided, that local authorities may by ordinance decrease the distance within which a vehicle may park in either direction of a fire hydrant.

(b) No person shall park a vehicle or permit it to stand, whether attended or unattended, upon any public vehicular area, street, highway or roadway in any area designated as a fire lane. This prohibition includes designated fire lanes in shopping center or mall parking lots and all other public vehicular areas. Provided, however, persons loading or unloading supplies or merchandise may park temporarily in a fire lane located in a shopping center or mall parking lot as long as the vehicle is not left unattended. The prima facie rule of evidence created by G.S. 20-162.1 is applicable to prosecutions for violation of this section. The owner of a vehicle parked in violation of this subsection shall be deemed to have appointed any State, county or municipal law-enforcement officer as his agent for the purpose of arranging for the transportation and safe storage of such vehicle. No law-enforcement officer removing such a vehicle shall be held criminally or civilly liable in any way for any acts or omissions arising out of or caused by carrying out or enforcing any provisions of this subsection, unless the conduct of the officer amounts to wanton misconduct or intentional wrongdoing. (1937, c. 407, s. 124; 1939, c. 111; 1979, c. 552; 1981, c. 574, s. 1.)

As Forrest Gump would say, "And that's all I have to say about that." Except that you also want to make sure not to park in front of a hydrant either. Check out what could happen:

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