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Under age driver, private property?


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  • Under age driver, private property?

    Is it LEGAL, so to speak, to start teaching my kid to drive down at the closed abandoned shopping mall parking lot. Its privately owned. No starters permit, 15.0 years old.
    Don't want to hear that we should wait until shes 16 with a permit, thats not the question, thanks.
    All I want to know is, is it LEGAL to do this?
    I've always been told that if tis PRIVATE property,it's OK.
    I'd hate to get into trouble, not me. I'll get permission from the owners first if I have too, np.
    I shoot, therefore I am.

  • #2
    There are many questions that are unanswerable to give you a definitive answer. First off, are traffic violations enforceable on private property in your state/city/county? In Indiana for instance, you'd be fine as long as the city doesn't have an ordinance in place (via agreement with the mall property owners) to allow the police to enforce traffic laws on their property.

    I've run across this a few times, parents teaching their children to driver, or ride motorcycles in a parking lot. As long as it's an outlying lot, that's empty, and you're not doing burnouts or the like, I don't see an issue with it.

    If somebody confronts you about it, then i'm sure a quick "i'm trying to teach my daughter to drive" explanation is all that will be required.
    Originally posted by K40
    To me, open carry is the equivalent of the couple making out and groping each other at the food court in the mall. Yeah, they are probably legal, as long as they don't start getting undressed. But they are still social retards.
    ‎"You go for a man hard enough and fast enough, he don't have time to think about how many's with him; he thinks about himself, and how he might get clear of that wrath that's about to set down on him." - Rooster Cogburn


    • #3
      I can tell you that in Texas and with most officers I know, no one is going to bother you about it. We can enforce laws in a parking lot such as DWI because it has access to a substantial portion of the public, but an officer with any common sense isn't going to give you grief about it as long as you aren't directing attention to yourself.


      • #4
        Ugh. This one of those things that frustrates me. There's a difference between "private property" and "privately owned property." No one without my express approval may drive in my fenced backyard. It is considered "private property." Pretty much anyone can drive onto a mall parking lot which is owned by a private corporation. It is considered "privately owned property."

        With that in mind, if you were in my state, California Vehicle Code 12500(c) would apply and it states in part:
        A person may not drive a motor vehicle in or upon any offstreet parking facility, unless the person then holds a valid driver's license
        A mall parking lot would be considered an "offstreet parking facility" regardless if a private entity owned it or if it were publicly owned.

        Still want teach your kid prior to when they could otherwise learn? I can't provide specifics for your state, but perhaps you should find a closed street on "private property." This would mean: it's not publicly owned AND it's not open to people publicly. This could include a racetrack, or an area that is gated off to prevent outside individuals from wandering onto it.

        My advice? It's that you should, "Wait until shes 16 with a permit." I don't care that you, "Don't want to hear that we should wait until shes 16 with a permit" because this is a "PRIVATE Forum for Law Enforcement," in which I'm entitled to opine as I see fit. See how that works?

        Additionally, many states have laws that would incriminate a person who allows an unlicensed driver to drive their car. Seeing as how you may have exposed yourself to criminal liability for allowing your unlicensed progeny to drive your car, aren't you glad I ignored your request to not reply with a dissenting opinion?
        Last edited by JH164; 05-08-2011, 09:39 PM.


        • #5
          Depends on the state in question. As you can see above each state varies. In my state you would be safe to do so.


          • #6
            All traffic laws in Tennessee apply to any area that is open and frequented by the public at large. This can include private (or privately owned) parking lots or roadways. As long as the court recognizes that they're open and frequented by the public, we can do as we wish. A mall parking lot is a perfect example. With that said, it's not uncommon for parents to be teaching their children how to drive in these areas. Most officers could care less as long as it's done safely. If mall management doesn't want a liability issue to arise, they may tell their security personnel to run off any unauthorized persons.
            I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


            • #7
              As long as it's not a public access private property, you are good.

              You go onto private property that the public has access to and crash into something that don't belong to the owner, depending on how it happened, you might have some splainin' to do to the law agency having jurisdiction.


              • #8
                In our area the owners of many CLOSED business's post them as no trespassing. The informal agreement with LE is that if the officers run into someone that is causing trouble they can then cite them for the violation.

                There is a huge liability issue to the owners of the property.

                So even if it is legal by statute, it would be illegal by the trespassing statute.
                My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


                • #9
                  It does depend on where you're at exactly.

                  Generally speaking, around here, if the parking lot is held open for public use, it would be illegal for your child to drive there without some kind of permit.


                  • #10
                    Since you are vague about the state in which you live, my suggestion is to call your local law enforcement agency: PD, Sheriff, Highway Patrol/State Police and ask them! That way you will get the true answer for your question.

                    Shopping centers are not necessarily PRIVATE PROPERTY. Some municipalities pass local laws making it unlawful to drive on the property without a license. However, if you own a farm or a ranch or some other private property, then you may drive all you wish without a driver's license or permit.

                    The final alternative is to go to GOOGLE and type in the name of your state with the query for the driver licensing laws.
                    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

                    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]


                    • #11
                      Depends on your state. If you have access to drive or park on it, I assume anyone does, which makes it illegal in Ohio.


                      • #12
                        Thanks..good info from some.
                        I shoot, therefore I am.


                        • #13
                          For me I've come across parents teaching their kids how to drive, if its done responsiblity regardless if in a large parking lot away from other vehicles or in a back county road, I won't mess with them. After all, how have most of us learned to drive outside of drivers ed?

                          Now if they are reckless, negligent, and royaly mess up, then i'm writing as many cites as I can AND calling a tow.

                          "Spirit of the law and letter of the law" is what I preach to all new boots.
                          Last edited by rgv_cop; 05-09-2011, 03:06 PM.
                          "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called Sons of God - Matthew 5:9


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by just joe View Post
                            Depends on your state. If you have access to drive or park on it, I assume anyone does, which makes it illegal in Ohio.
                            You should wait until shes 16 with a permit.


                            • #15
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