Is it Legal for Michigan Delivery Drivers to Park in the Middle of the Road?
Seriously delivery truck drivers: Why? Why do you insist on parking in the middle of a moving lane of traffic when you can easily pull into a driveway? We understand that you have a job to do and that there are time constraints you as a driver are dealing with. You run into the back of your truck, run to the door, get someone to sign it, then run back into your truck. Good for you! Meanwhile, there is a line of traffic that has built up behind you. All of these drivers are inconvenienced by your convenient 'parking spot'. This leads to the question: Is this legal?
Let's go to the rulebook. According to traffic laws in many states, including Michigan:
a person, without authority, shall not block, obstruct, impede, or otherwise interfere with the normal flow of vehicular, streetcar, or pedestrian traffic upon a public street or highway in this state, by means of a barricade, object, or device, or with his or her person.
But wait, there's more. As with most things in life, there are some exceptions to this rule. In some cases, a delivery driver may be able to argue that they had no other choice but to park in the middle of the road in order to make a delivery. For example, if there's no legal parking available nearby and the delivery driver needs to unload a large item or make a delivery to a business that's located right on the road. That's understandable, but what about when there is a driveway, that is easily accessible, and yet they put in park, flip on the flashers and make whoever is behind them wait?
While it is, according to Michigan law, illegal to park in the road even with hazard lights on, most law enforcement officers will look past the infraction so long as the driver isn't far from the vehicle and it hasn't been there for too long of a time.
While it might technically be possible for delivery drivers to argue that parking in the middle of a lane of a two-lane road is necessary to make a delivery, it's not a practice that should be relied on. Instead, delivery drivers should do their best to find legal parking spots or pull off to the side of the road to make their deliveries. After all, we all want to keep our roads safe and flowing smoothly, right?