North Carolina car accidents and pedestrian accidents commonly occur in the parking lots of supermarkets, malls and big box stores.
Whether or not law enforcement has the authority to enforce traffic laws in parking lots is a muddled area of law, according to a report in the News Observer. But pedestrians are assumed to have the right-of-way in virtually all instances. North Carolina injury lawyers frequently represent pedestrian victims in such cases — and a driver will very likely be considered negligent for an accident that results in a failure to stop at parking lot stop signs.
As the News Observer put it: You might not get a ticket for failing to stop at a parking lot stop sign, but you might get into an accident and that will get you into trouble.
“I would encourage folks to stop for that sign,” said Kevin Lacy, chief traffic engineer with the state Department of Transportation. “If you happen to hit one of those people in the parking lot and you didn’t stop, there is little doubt that you’d be held liable and responsible.”
Parking lots and other similar areas are not mentioned in the state traffic laws. However, the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices — the governing document that keeps standard traffic laws uniform among states — does permit private property owners to erect signs regulating traffic.
Meanwhile, the law treats parking lots as private drives where they meet the street. This designation means you are always required to stop and yield to street traffic, whether presented with a stop sign, a street sign or no sign at all.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving North and South Carolina, including Asheboro, Charlotte, Concord and Greensboro.