Although CA Vehicle Code
21750 can be paraphrased as when a vehicle or bicycle overtakes or passes another
vehicle going the same way, that vehicle or bicycle must do it on the
left and in a manner that is safe and prudent for both vehicle and other
road users or it is a lane violation. However, as with all laws, there
are exceptions and limitations. We will attempt to lay out these exceptions
and limitations so that you will understand and not receive a lane violation
because you did not know.
What Are Lane Violations According to CA Law?
Everyone knows It is a lane violation to pass another vehicle when there
are double-yellow lines dividing lanes, but what other scenarios may constitute
a lane violation when passing a slower vehicle?
In Europe, when you are traveling in the fast lane and a slower vehicle
is in front of you, you would put on your left turn signal and start flashing
your high beams to get their attention and hopefully they will move over.
If they don’t move over, you would blow your horn a couple of times,
switch your blinker to the right, and pass them on the right. However,
in CA, the CA Highway Patrol (CHP) would consider that unsafe passing
on the right.
Is it really that much more “unsafe” to pass on the right rather
than the left? Maybe, the driver can see the vehicles coming up in the
left lane better than those on the right due to mirror blind spots and
because the on-ramps with slower vehicles merging into traffic are traditionally
on the right in the US, the customary lane to pass is the one on the left.
Therefore, most lawmakers have written laws to make it illegal to pass
on the right.
Some of those occasions when you shouldn’t pass on the left with
two-way traffic are:
· On a hill
· On a curve
· When an approaching vehicle is too close to complete the pass
· Inclement weather that precludes a good view of oncoming traffic
· Within 100 feet of a bridge, tunnel, viaduct, railroad crossing,
21753 states the overtaking (passing) vehicle should move back to the right
lane as soon it is safe to do so and the overtaken vehicle (the vehicle
being passed) must not speed up at any time while being passed.
Not a Lane Violation
21754 lays out when passing on the right is allowed:
· When a vehicle ahead is about to make a left turn, signal your
intentions and move safely to the right.
· When there are two lanes (or more) moving in the same direction
within a business or residential area.
· When the same conditions exist on a highway outside a business district.
· When on a one-way street where there are two lanes or more.
· When told to do so or motioned to do so by law enforcement.
21760 provides that when passing a bicycle, a vehicle should give the bicycle
the same safe space as another vehicle, but never less than three feet.
Bigger & Harman, Traffic Ticket Defense Attorneys
In Mono, Kings, Kern, Tulare, Inyo, or another Central Valley county and
in some SoCal counties like Riverside, San Bernardino, and LA, call Bigger
& Harman, 661-349-9300, for a free phone consultation. You can also email
email@example.com the details of your ticket to get their recommendation.
It is not always financially prudent to hire a traffic ticket attorney,
such as when traffic school is authorized. However, when you have been
charged with an at-fault accident due to what the LEO thought to be a
lane violation, you should consult with the Bigger & Harman law firm
before your insurance company assigns you to a higher risk category and
raises your premium in line with that risk.
En español, llame al 661-349-9755.