Three CHP officers, like the ones on Highway 395 and the Grapevine, have
been struck by vehicles this year as the officers were writing up traffic
violations or investigating traffic accidents.
In the latest incident, a truck driver who may have been intoxicated ran
into Sacramento CHP officer Vincent Smith as he was working a downtown
traffic collision. Officer Smith was
rushed to a local hospital, but he is expected to survive. Two other CHP officers were involved in
similar incidents earlier this year, and one of them died.
CHP officer Michael Bradley, who narrowly avoided serious injury after
an 18-wheeler jackknifed while trying to stop suddenly, reminded California
drivers to immediately react to emergency lights.
The Move-Over Law
California’s version of the move-over law is very subjective, as
it is in most states. When approaching a tow truck or emergency vehicle,
VC 21809 requires drivers to “[m]ake a lane change into an available lane
not immediately adjacent to the authorized emergency vehicle” or
“slow to a reasonable and prudent speed.” A violation carries
a maximum $237.00 fine, and also adds one point to your license.
But the law doesn’t define any of the relevant terms, so officers
have virtually unlimited discretion in these matters. There are many times
that it is technically legal to make a lane change, but such a maneuver
is not advisable. Moreover, motorists are not able to slow down as much
as they would like if a speeding car is coming up fast in the rearview
mirror. Some other
defenses may apply as well, and an attorney can leverage them to either get the
ticket thrown out or have the penalties reduced.
Getting Legal Help
The aggressive attorneys at Bigger & Harman, APC, are committed to
giving individuals a voice when dealing with speeding and traffic tickets.
Call today at 661-349-9300 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español,
llame al 661-349-9755.