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Traffic Violations in Public Park

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  • Traffic Violations in Public Park

    I have been looking for it in the TRC, but could someone assist me with which violations are fair game with citing cruisers in a public park. In my beat on every Sunday we have a park with show cars driving in circles. I pull them over for all that I can with zero tolerance but just want to make sure I'm not violating anyone's civil rights. I pull them over for violations such as failed to signal turn when they are entering the park from the public roadway. Once they are in the park, can I stop and cite for violations such as defective brake light, registration violations, fmfr, dark window tint, etc. I have spoke to other guys in my department but get different answers. Some guys say since its a public park, everything is fair game since its not private property. Other guys say no because its not a public roadway. Any info would be helpful thanks!z

  • #2
    You pulled them over for a moving violation on a public roadway so you can write them for the non movers . They had all those violations when they failed to signal. Its not like those equipment and registration violations just appeared once they got into the park. You could have pulled them over for anyone of those non movers.

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    • #3
      Yeah, I got that...but I was referring to vehicles that have already entered the park prior to my arrival. What enforcement action can I take once they are already inside.

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      • #4
        Sec. 542.001. VEHICLES ON HIGHWAYS. A provision of this subtitle relating to the operation of a vehicle applies only to the operation of a vehicle on a highway unless the provision specifically applies to a different place.

        Sec. 541.301. TRAFFIC. In this subtitle "traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, and conveyances, including vehicles and streetcars, singly or together while using a highway for the purposes of travel.
        ..........................(5) "Highway or street" means the width between the boundary lines of a publicly maintained way any part of which is open to the public for vehicular travel.
        ..........................(11) "Roadway" means the portion of a highway, other than the berm or shoulder, that is improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. If a highway includes at least two separate roadways, the term applies to each roadway separately.

        I could be wrong but IMHO if the public park has publicly maintained roads then you can enforce the Traffic Code.

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        • #5
          Thanks, I was thinking the same thing. This specific park does have a roadway ending with the label "Street". It stays open to the public, there aren't any gates to lock up the entrance. However it also has a stop sign we can't enforce i.e a private stop sign similar to the ones in shopping mall parking lots.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by yammahoppy View Post
            Sec. 542.001. VEHICLES ON HIGHWAYS. A provision of this subtitle relating to the operation of a vehicle applies only to the operation of a vehicle on a highway unless the provision specifically applies to a different place.

            Sec. 541.301. TRAFFIC. In this subtitle "traffic" means pedestrians, ridden or herded animals, and conveyances, including vehicles and streetcars, singly or together while using a highway for the purposes of travel.
            ..........................(5) "Highway or street" means the width between the boundary lines of a publicly maintained way any part of which is open to the public for vehicular travel.
            ..........................(11) "Roadway" means the portion of a highway, other than the berm or shoulder, that is improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. If a highway includes at least two separate roadways, the term applies to each roadway separately.

            I could be wrong but IMHO if the public park has publicly maintained roads then you can enforce the Traffic Code.
            Best place to check would be with your City Judge. At my old agency, ours ruled that the multiple streets on our local school district property were actually considered an extension of the parking lot. Now granted our city didn't maintain the streets, but they may not consider them a "roadway."
            sigpic
            Let your watchword be duty, and know no other talisman of success than labor. Let honor be your guiding star in your dealing with your superiors, with your fellows, with all. Be as true to a trust reposed as the needle to the pole. Stand by the right even to the sacrifice of life itself, and learn that death is preferable to dishonor. ~ Gov. Richard Coke, October 4, 1876

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            • #7
              AggieOfc,

              Here is the educatin code statute tha allows enforcement of traffic laws on school property.

              ec. 37.102. RULES; PENALTY. (a) The board of trustees of a school district may adopt rules for the safety and welfare of students, employees, and property and other rules it considers necessary to carry out this subchapter and the governance of the district, including rules providing for the operation and parking of vehicles on school property. The board may adopt and charge a reasonable fee for parking and for providing traffic control.(b) A law or ordinance regulating traffic on a public highway or street applies to the operation of a vehicle on school property, except as modified by this subchapter.(c) A person who violates any rule adopted under this subchapter providing for the operation and parking of vehicles on school property commits an offense. An offense under this section is a Class C misdemeanor.

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              • #8
                I second checking with the city judge or prosecutor. I would also check city ordinances.

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