There's an infinite amount of TikTok videos online of "Karens" or other entitled persons standing in empty parking spots to save it for someone else who isn't even there yet.

You can see this happening at concerts, festivals, shopping malls... and don't even get me started on Jersey Shore beaches during the summer! Just last year I had some words with a man who was standing in a spot waiting for his friend at Point Pleasant while three other cars who had gotten there first were losing their patience.

Angry man driving a car
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Saving highly-desired parking spots is a brazen, surefire way to start either a verbal or physical altercation when tempers rise. And sometimes, it even leads to someone calling the police! But can the police do anything about parking lot saving?

So is it illegal to save a parking spot? The answer is a little tricky, as it depends on the situation.

Photo by Michael Fousert on Unsplash
Photo by Michael Fousert
on Unsplash

In general, it is not illegal to save a parking spot in a parking lot. The International Parking and Mobility Institute says  "...None of the state or local jurisdictions surveyed has a law or ordinance prohibiting a person from attempting to save or reserve a parking space by standing it. But they do warn that saving one can be dangerous.

However, public street parking is another issue. You can't stand in the street to the save a spot, and it's also illegal to use cones to block cars and traffic without a permit. In Philadelphia, they can crack down on you for using private property, such a garbage cans, chairs, etc. to reserve parking spots, especially during inclement weather.

While saving a parking spot with your body may not illegal, it goes against unspoken laws of etiquette and common decency. And once those tensions start to rise, it could quickly devolve into a situation where actions do become illegal. Like causing public disturbances or even assault.

Don't be a jerk. First car, first serve!

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