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ASK YOUR GOVERNMENT: Can government vehicles get parking tickets?

Each week, Herald reporter Charly Haley answers your questions about local government, laws and other local topics.

Q. Are city and state vehicles immune to parking tickets? I saw someone bragging on Facebook that they drive a state vehicle and just toss tickets in the trash because it’s illegal to ticket them.

A. That person on Facebook was either joking, lying or definitely mistaken.

City and state vehicles are not immune to parking tickets. No matter what type of vehicle it is, if it’s breaking parking laws it can be ticketed, according to Mike Kirby, Grand Forks police chief.

The only time vehicles are immune to parking tickets is on capital grounds in Bismarck during a legislative session, Kirby said. No vehicle may receive a parking ticket in that circumstance.

Parking on the corner?

Q. Is there a city law about how close you can park to the corners of intersections? Sometimes I feel like I’m pulling out halfway into an intersection to see around parked cars that seem too close to corners near stop signs and such — especially right across from City Hall.

A. The city ordinance regarding parking near an intersection is pretty complicated, said John Bernstrom, city spokesman.

According to Bernstrom, the general rule of thumb is if you’re parking near an intersection in a residential neighborhood that doesn’t have any “no parking” signs, there should be one car length between a parked car and the crosswalk. If there’s not a crosswalk, leave one-and-a-half car lengths.

This allows vehicles better sight lines as they approach an intersection, he said.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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