Can the police really give you a ticket for not following the traffic laws at your favorite Hudson Valley shopping mall?

It's a question many people have wondered while navigating their way around the mall parking lot. So we decided to find out if traffic laws still hold true even if you're on private property.

It seems a little strange that a store could just decide to erect stop signs and set speed limits on their own land and then have those rules enforced by police. If I wanted to erect a stop sign at the end of my driveway would the police give me a ticket if I rolled through it on the way home from work? Probably not.

We consulted Poughkeepsie attorney Jonna Spilbor and she says that most likely you would not get a ticket for blowing a stop sign at the mall, but that doesn't mean you should.

According to Spilbor the only way police can give you a ticket is if the town officially adopts the stop signs as a legal traffic sign. The attorney says that in all of her years of practicing law in the Hudson Valley she's never seen a ticket handed out for blowing a mall stop sign. Spilbor highly doubts that the dozens of signs are legally sanctioned by the local towns or cities where the malls are located.

However, if an accident occurs as a result of someone driving through a mall stop sign that person can be liable in a civil case. They won't get a violation for the stop sign, but would probably be held responsible for the accident. The same holds true for mall speed limits. Drivers aren't likely get a speeding ticket for driving over the posted limit, but they could receive a ticket for unsafe or reckless driving if they're traveling at excessive speeds.

So while you should most certainly drive safely and follow all posted traffic signs, if you happen to roll through a stop sign at the mall it's unlikely a cop will be hiding around the corner to catch you.