Q: Are stop signs on private property (such as shopping centers parking lots) enforceable? Also, are disability parking spaces on private property enforceable?

A: Thank you for your questions. First, let’s address the issue of enforcement of disability parking on private property; yes, Minnesota Statute 169.346 Disability Parking areas; criteria, enforcement, states that disability parking spaces are enforceable whether on public or private property.

Regarding stop signs and other traffic markings on private property being enforceable would depend on the driving conduct. Rolling through a stop sign on private property is not enforceable under the traffic laws of Minnesota. However, Minnesota Statute 169.13 Reckless or Careless Driving, subdivision 3, states that the provisions of this section apply, but are not limited in application, to any person who drives any vehicle in a parking lot ordinarily used by or available to the public.

A person is guilty of reckless driving while aware of and consciously disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the driving may result in harm to another or another's property is guilty of reckless driving. Careless driving is when a person operates or halts any vehicle carelessly or heedlessly in disregard of the rights of others, or in a manner that endangers or is likely to endanger any property or any person, including the driver or passengers of the vehicle.

This response is primarily directed to traffic and criminal law from an enforcement perspective, individuals involved in other potential driving incidents on private property should contact a private attorney for possible litigation/rights under a civil process.

References and resources

1. Minnesota Statute 169.346 DISABILITY PARKING AREAS; CRITERIA, ENFORCEMENT, located online at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.346

2. Minnesota Statute 169.13 Reckless or Careless Driving, located online at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.13“Ask The Chief” allows readers access to useful information about law enforcement issues in Red Wing. This communication tool has been developed to enhance community policing efforts by providing residents and visitors with the opportunity to ask questions about local laws, programs and the department in general.

Submit your question to askthe.policechief@ci.red-wing.mn.us.

Generally one answer a week is posted RWPD social media sites and printed in the Red Wing Republican Eagle.