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Keep your driveway safe and clear

Property owners and retail businesses know that keeping driveways free from parked cars and warning vehicles that someone might be pulling out make for safe passage from point A to point B. Signage goes a long way toward making sure everyone gets where they’re going without a hitch.

Protect your driveway from trespassers

Driveways are what architectural theorists call a liminal zone – a place bothpublic and private, a place between two others. On one hand, most people don't mind postal workers parking in their driveway if they're delivering a package… but when it's alarming when someone completely unexpected parks in our driveway. On one hand, you can drink openly in your driveway in most states… but only if it's not publicly accessible. (And don't assume that driving drunk in a private driveway won't earn you a court date – as one Florida man discovered, driving under the influence is against the law no matter where you are!)

Private Driveway

A sign like this lets people know they should stay off your land unless they're invited.
Under some circumstances, signage can actually determine whether your driveway is considered public or private. If you have clear, reflective no trespassing or private driveway signs posted in accordance with local regulations, in locations like Seattle, that's enough to keep people from walking through or parking on your driveway.

For purely practical reasons, it's best to install a fence or gate if you feel like trespassing is a serious danger where you live. On the other hand, signage is sufficient in most places, and fences/gates can be extremely expensive. Check with local law enforcement to find out what's legally required to establish your driveway as private property if that's a concern. In any case, if you've posted a private property or no trespassing sign, no matter what state you're in, you have the legal right to ask someone to leave and have them do so (unless you've abridged your legal rights in some way, either by contract or by performing illegal acts).

Be warned - according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. government is free to sneak onto your driveway and plant a GPS beacon under your car – so at least until the Supreme Court takes up Mr. Pineda-Moreno's case, your signs won't do much good against even warrantless government agents!

Be sure you know what your local regulations say on this issue.