Is It Illegal to ‘Pull-Through’ a Parking Spot in Indiana?
I've done it, and I assume you've done it too, but are we breaking Indiana law when we pull through into an empty spot in a parking lot? Unfortunately, the answer isn't crystal clear.
I'm as guilty as anyone of pulling through into an adjacent empty parking spot if it's available. I drive a full-size pickup truck and because of its size, I find it's much easier to see my surroundings leaving a parking spot in drive than it is in reverse, even with the modern convenience of a backup camera. I also back into my parking spot in the parking garage at the station, because again, much easier to leave at the end of the day.
What's the Problem?
There can be issues with the pull-through, one of which is the chance there's another driver in the other lane with the same idea and you don't see each other. Something like this happened to me while grocery shopping the other day. I saw an empty spot and began to turn into it when another customer in a small white car who was leaving the adjacent spot decided to pull through to leave. Fortunately, I saw them just in time and was able to stop before our bumpers introduced themselves to each other.
Another issue could be hitting an actual person who is making their way from their car into the store or vice-versa. While you likely wouldn't be going fast enough to cause serious injury, you'd still have enough momentum to knock them down and hurt them. No one wants that.
Are You a Wanted Person?
Whether or not the pull-through in Indiana is "illegal" doesn't seem to be a simple yes or no. A couple of years ago, Travis researched whether or not backing into a parking spot was illegal, citing an entry from the website, Dumb Laws.com, to determine that it was. The reason being, it prevents police officers from seeing your license plate, similar to what pulling through to an empty spot would do. Why would a police officer be looking for your car in a parking lot? I don't know. What did you do?!?!
Since Travis wrote that article back in March 2019, Dumb Laws has been shut down. Visiting the address results in a message saying the domain name is now available for purchase from Go Daddy. Another site listing strange laws in each state, the appropriately titled, Stupid Laws.com, also lists backing into a spot as illegal in Indiana. However, they don't cite a source for their information like they do with some of the other stupid laws they list for the Hoosier State.
That's not to say they, or Travis, were/are wrong. It's entirely possible the law did exist at one point but has since been repealed leaving no trace of its existence. I decided to dig a little deeper to see what I could find.
What I found was nothing. No mention anywhere in the state's parking laws about pulling through a parking spot being against the law in Indiana. I'll assume it's not an issue in the state's eyes, so by all means, feel free to pull on through (only after carefully checking the surroundings and proceeding slowly, of course).
With that said, it is important to note that while the state doesn't appear to care how you pull into a parking spot, the city or town you live in, or the business you're visiting might. Evansville doesn't appear to have any ordinances on the books prohibiting the pull-through, which leaves me to assume they leave that decision to business owners. But, it never hurts to keep an eye out for signs in any parking lot that has guidelines on how they want you to park.
[Source: Find Law.com]