If your business has a parking lot that is accessible to the public, you may wonder if you truly need signs to regulate traffic. After all, you reason, people never obey those signs, anyway.
Think again. Even though in some states, like Michigan, police cannot enforce these signs, there are some other issues you need to consider—even if in your state, the cops won’t come running when some teenager runs a stop sign in your lot.
If Your State Doesn’t Enforce Private Traffic Signage
Know this: even if stop signs aren’t enforceable, other driving behaviors are. Drunk driving, driving with a suspended license, careless driving, parking in a handicapped zone, and reckless driving—all are enforceable in most states. If this behavior leads them to cause an accident because they didn’t obey your traffic signs, the police can probably cite them. If you have an easily seen traffic sign there, chances are you won’t be held to blame.
In some states, too, there are other situations in which the owner of a private parking lot or road can request police to enforce traffic laws on his or her property. Consult your attorney to see if your state or locality has such a provision. After you complete all the proper steps, the police can regulate traffic on your access roads and parking lot.
If you don’t have traffic signs in intersections and other areas at which you need to direct traffic or designate a speed limit, you may put yourself at risk for a lawsuit if there’s an accident on your property.
The safety of your customers must come first. Most people abide by posted limits, even on private property. They will certainly appreciate you making your lot a safer place to park their cars while they shop.
If you have areas in your parking lot that are not well-lit, you might want to consider solar-powered flashing LED lighting that illuminates signs in dark corners or other places at which visibility is an issue. If you have speed bumps, consider posting a speed limit sign as well. The limit should be one at which cars can navigate the speed bumps with no damage to their cars. That way, if someone decides that your parking lot is the perfect place for a drag race, they can’t blame you if their car suffers damage from hitting the bumps at 50 miles per hour.
If Your State Does Enforce Private Traffic Signage
There are some states that may enforce traffic signage on private property, at least to a limited degree. If you live in one of these states, be sure to check the exact specifications. Be sure to conform to your local and state statutes when you post your signs. Talk to your attorney or the local police to make sure you have complied with all legal requirements.
To learn more about the benefits of traffic signage and cones for your company’s parking lots and access roads, contact the traffic sign experts at Dornbos Sign and Safety today.