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Cutting through parking lots means paying a hefty fine

When you're in a hurry, you want to find the fastest way possible. Sometimes taking shortcuts, like cutting through a parking lot, can save a lot of time. In most states, it's okay to cut through parking lots, but in Florence, South Carolina, it will lead to a traffic citation with a pretty hefty fine for such an offense.

For drivers who decide to run through a private parking lot to avoid the stoplight, the fine is $237.50. Florence law states that no one can drive through a private property, driveway or road to avoid traffic devices. The statute goes on to say that state law does not consider this action to be a lesser offense than others.

A retired Florence inspector sees this happen often, especially when a convenience store is at the corner. Officers routinely see drivers stuck behind a red light decide not to wait for the green light, then go through the parking lot, he said. It's even worse during the holiday season and can cause accidents, he said.

Why is that action dangerous?

The retired inspector said it is because people who might be in the parking lot of the convenience store or gas station on the corner are slowing down as they drive in the lot, intending to park. The cut-through drivers, however, do not plan to stop. There are many hazards to look for, such as a child running to the family car or cars backing out.

Being late for work or in a hurry is not a reason to violate this law. It is imperative to follow state driving laws. The inspector's explanation gives a very good reason why performing such an action while behind the wheel is dangerous and should be avoided.

Source: Morning News Online, "TRAFFIC ROUNDUP: Cutting through parking lots a bad idea," Allen Heidler, Dec. 9, 2012

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