Can I get a ticket for careless driving in a parking lot?

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Can I get a ticket for careless driving in a parking lot?

I was picking up my daughter at her school and approached the entry way to the parking lot, the people to my right were all in a line to pickup their kids, I was going to park. As I approached the entry way I felt a bump, evidently I side swiped her with my runners step. Her corner was damaged. I almost think she tried to get out of the line and hit me, anyways, the cop gave me a ticket cause my insurance had old date on it, i have insurance so I have to go to court to prove it, fine. But he gave me a ticket for careless driving also. Can he do this considering we were on private property?

Asked on January 12, 2011 under Accident Law, Colorado

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can be ticketed for careless driving on private property. Obviously, there is some private property where "careless" driving is allowed or even encouraged, such as proving grounds, test tracks, and race tracks of various kinds; however, on other private property you may be ticketed for wrongdoings that are not other specifically permitted. So in a school parking lot--which is property where care is especially important--you may be ticketed for driving carelessly. Also, note that if the school is a public school, it's not "private" property at all--it's public property, in many ways (subject  only to exceptions necessary to protect children) as public as the county municipal building, the parking lot of the courthouse, etc.


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