Is it illegal to cut through a parking lot?

I often get caught at a red light near my house and I’ve seen other drivers avoid it by driving through a parking lot on the corner. Am I allowed to do that?

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Answer provided by
Sean Boehme
Answered on Jun 09, 2022
There are lots of traffic laws that people don’t know, so it’s great that you take the time to check before trying something on the road. Here is a look at whether or not it is illegal to cut through a parking lot.
The short answer is, yes, it is illegal to cut through a parking lot to avoid a red light in most states. As tempting as it might be, the time you might save by skipping a red light is not worth breaking the law.
If you are caught cutting through a parking lot you might:
  • Be required to pay a fine
  • Have points added to your driving record
Cutting through a parking lot is illegal for a wide range of reasons, most of which have to do with safety. Drivers who move through a parking lot in a rush have a higher chance of hitting a car or pedestrian along the way.
It can also be disruptive. If people are constantly cutting through a parking lot to avoid red lights, it will be difficult to navigate the parking lot and use it as intended. It is often gas station parking lots where people attempt this maneuver and having so many cars passing through could pose a major problem.
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