Can Traffic Tickets be Issued on Private Property?


Traffic Ticket on Private PropertyThere are many factors when it comes to the fact of whether or not you can be cited a traffic ticket while on private property.  Depending on the traffic law and the type of private property you are encroaching on, you may not be protected from a traffic citation.

In California, parking lots at grocery stores or malls are for use by the public and therefore are open to all Vehicle Code enforcement.  Other violations that can be cited are reckless driving, hit and runs, registration and equipment violations.  Driveways that are privately owned or for private use such as at a dentist or doctor office, are exempt from vehicle code enforcement.

A common ticketed violation is the new law stating that a person shall not use of a motor vehicle while using a wireless phone unless it is configured for hands-free talking.  The law also states that this section does not apply when driving on private property.  Because the law states that the hands-free rule is exempt from private property, you cannot receive a traffic ticket for this reason.

Unfortunately this doesn’t apply to all laws.  Police must enforce both state and local government laws and that covers all areas including public and private property.  From speed limits in parking lots to private stop signs, you must be aware of your surroundings and the signs posted, so that you don’t receive a traffic violation ticket.

Other violations that may turn into parking tickets on private property are fire lane violations, handicap parking and DUIs.  Driving under the influence is a highly illegal violation no matter what type of property your vehicle is on.  Driving under the influence is considered a highly dangerous activity and prohibited in all of California whether it be on a public street or private driveway due to the degree of the traffic ticket.

On private ranches, country roads and rural properties where no speed limit signs are posted, people can drive on them as fast as they want at their own risk.  Minors without a state-required driver’s license can drive dirt bikes and other vehicles on the property with the land owner’s permission.

So with the question “Can a police officer issue a traffic ticket on private property,” cannot be answered with a yes or no.  Traffic laws are regulated depending on the type of property and whether or not the traffic law states that private property is exempt.