Traffic Laws and Ordinances

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For your reference here are some links to Rhode Island General Laws 

or The Codified Ordinances of the City of Newport

Local Traffic Laws and Ordinances
  1. You must be five feet from any driveway (including your own)
  2. You must park 15 to 20 feet from intersections so fire apparatus can make the corner
  3. Be mindful of Residential Sticker Parking streets (most streets require a residential parking sticker from 6pm to 6am, others require a sticker 24 hours a day)
  4. Watch for yellow curbs
  5. Meters need to be fed from 9am to 9pm
  6. Most meters have a time limit, watch for signs that restrict the amount of time you can stay at a meter (15 minutes or three hours)
  7. Boat trailers can only stay on a city street for two hours when not attached to a vehicle
  8. No vehicle can be parked on a city street for 24 hours without being moved
  9. Watch for signs on streets and in city-owned parking lots that regulate the amount of time you can park for free
  10. In the Touro Lot (off Touro Street just west of the intersection with Clarke Street) you have to pay the "Pay and Display" machine from 9am to 9pm. There are four marked spaces where a vehicle with a residential parking sticker can park

If you have any questions, please call 401-847-1306. We DO NOT want to write parking tickets to people who don't understand the parking rules. Please call us if you have a question!

Top 10 Little-Known Motor Vehicles Laws

If you've ever watched a court TV show, you've probably heard the judge say, Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. In Rhode Island, and probably in many other states, there are some laws of which most people are not aware.

The following are 10 of the least-known (or least-obeyed) Rhode Island motor vehicle laws.

  1. Don't drive your car with any significant amount of snow or ice on it. Significant is construed as any amount of accumulation that might reasonably be expected to blow off the vehicle and obscure the vision of another operator.
  2. It is against R.I. law to drive a vehicle or a bicycle while wearing earphones or a headset. This refers to music, not to cellular phones.
  3. Turn on your interior light if you are stopped by police. R.I. law requires you to turn on your dome light when stopped between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise. This is for the safety of the police officer.
  4. If the weather is such that you need your wipers, you also need your headlights. Turn them on when your wipers are in use due to rain, sleet, snow, hail or other unfavorable atmospheric condition, or at any other time when there is not sufficient light or visibility.
  5. Don't enter an intersection until you can clear it. If traffic is such that when you enter an intersection you cannot pass through that intersection, then don't! Wait until there is enough clearance for your vehicle to completely pass through the intersection before going.
  6. Inspect a vehicle purchased out of state. If you purchase a vehicle out of state, it must be inspected by a R.I. inspection station within five days of registering the vehicle.
  7. Notify the Division of Motor Vehicles of your change of address. Whenever you change your address, you must notify the Registry, in writing, within 10 days of the move.
  8. Your registration plates must be visible. Your plates must be visible from a distance of 100 feet during daylight. Plastic plate covers, whether colored or not, make this impossible. Also, your plate is required to be displayed in a certain location; displaying it in a back window or front windshield is not allowed. At night, the rear plate must be illuminated.
  9. Restrain your pet. If your pet is being transported in an open-air vehicle (i.e. pickup truck), it must be restrained with a harness manufactured for the purpose of restraining animals by means other than neck restraints.
  10. After-market window tint is strictly prohibited. Any tint that is applied to a vehicle window must be in compliance with specific opacity standards. Any tint that is in the form of a sticker and applied to a window is prohibited.

Article from Horizons AAA Southern New England newsletter, March 2006, written by Rhode Island State Police Sgt. Karen Pinch

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