Ask a Trooper: Delivery vehicles parking issues
Question: Often I see delivery vehicles of all kinds stopped in the roadway. Either they are double parked, parked near a fire hydrant, parked next to a yellow curb, parked parallel in an angle-parking spot (taking up numerous parking stalls) or parked in a no parking zone of some type. I see this all the time and have seen it for many years. In some cases they actually block in some cars that are parked legally or cause other hazards for vehicles, pedestrians or bicyclists. I have a difficult time with this issue and so do a lot of people I have talked with about it over the years. I even see garbage trucks driving the wrong direction or driving over the center line in the opposing lane. I can understand an ambulance or other emergency type vehicles parking where they need to park to do their job during an actual emergency but not delivery or similar type vehicles. I would just like to know: Is there a special statute for these types of vehicles, allowing them to park like that? If there are no laws allowing it then why aren’t the laws being enforced, and what can be done about it? It seems to be very common, but not very safe none-the-less.
Answer: No, there are no special laws that I am aware of for allowing that type of parking by those vehicles, unless some cities have special ordinances for special situations in specific areas. I have heard complaints about this many times before over the years. All drivers have a responsibility as the operator of their vehicle to obey the traffic laws and to exercise due care. The company that owns the vehicle and hires the driver has some responsibility in training their drivers properly and setting forth guidelines or policies for the operation of the company vehicles.
These delivery-type vehicles are usually there for a short time and if someone does call the police the vehicle is gone before they arrive. If you see a particular company committing these unsafe practices, you can call them and complain or speak to the driver and let them know your concerns. You can also speak to the local police and request enforcement. The ones that concerns me the most are the ones driving the wrong way or in the opposing traffic lane. I would hope that those actions would be cited by an officer upon observing.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers, MN State Patrol, P.O. Box 644, Brainerd, MN, 56401, or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask a Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.