Besides speeding, unsafe lane change tickets are the most frequently written
highway tickets. Very often an unsafe lane change can be subjective, it
is a judgment call on the part of the law enforcement officer (LEO) that
tickets you what is safe and what is unsafe. Before you just accept the
LEO’s judgment and pay the fine, be sure the “unsafe lane
change” wasn’t to avoid hitting another vehicle, pedestrian,
or animal on the roadway.
It is a violation of CA Vehicle Code (CVC)
22107, Turning, Stopping and Turning Signals to move from your lane without
first ensuring that it is reasonably safe to do so and signaling your
intent before making the move. The base fine is $35, though the total
fine after state and county surcharges, assessments, and penalties will
be between $230 and $250 and a conviction will be assessed one Negligent
Operator Treatment System point. Depending on your status, you may be
able to hide the conviction from your insurance company by attending traffic school.
Unsafe Lane Change on Highway 395
Suppose you’re driving at or near the speed limit on I-395 in Inyo
County around Independence and a coyote or some other animal runs out
into the road in front of you, you would have very little time to react
and might swerve into the other lane to avoid hitting the animal. An officer
going in the same direction two or three cars back, might not see the
animal, but he saw another vehicle hit the brakes because he saw their
brake lights come on and pulled you over for an unsafe lane change. Your
actions may have been unsafe, but your instinctive swerve to avoid hitting
the animal might be judged justifiable.
Likewise, changing lanes abruptly to avoid a vehicle that is coming onto
the highway from the entrance ramp might be unsafe without signaling your
intention, but it may have been the safest thing to do at the time. Changing
lanes to avoid a merging vehicle that you thought might hit you is reasonable
and although unsafe, it is acceptable behavior given the circumstances.
You could certainly justify not signaling because you did not have time.
Another understandable unsafe lane change, if it is true, might be because
you thought you would pass out or had sharp chest pains. Moving to the
right across lanes without signaling would be understandable if you felt
like you would pass out or your chest might explode. Passing out or suffering
a heart attack while driving in heavy traffic could be far worse than
moving over without signaling.
Independence Traffic Court
If you have lost your ticket or it has been awhile since you were ticketed
or failed to appear in court to resolve your ticket for an unsafe lane
change or other infractions or misdemeanors and you’re no longer
sure of the details but you realize it is time to set things right and
get your driver’s license back, the county court is a good place to start.
You can find a lot of information about the Inyo County Courthouse hours
and how to pay tickets on their
website. If you need information about how to pay a ticket, click on
Payment of Fines on the left-hand side of the page. You will have to register and login.
Or, you could speak to the county clerk in person, the Courthouse is at
168 North Edwards Street and in Bishop, it is at 301 West Line Street,
or you can call (760) 872-3038 between 1:00 and 2:00 pm Monday to Friday
for traffic ticket concerns. The walk-in window is open according to the schedule
Regardless of your traffic ticket or driver’s license status, you
should get advice and counsel from a local traffic ticket attorney before
you pay past due fines or attempt to resolve an FTA. If you failed to
appear in court, there might be a bench warrant for your arrest depending
on the severity of your traffic ticket or accident. It would be best to
have a traffic ticket attorney investigate it for you before you proceed.
Hire a Local Inyo County Ticket Lawyer
If you were ticketed for a questionable unsafe lane change or have another
traffic ticket issue, consider Bigger & Harman. Mark Bigger and Paul
Harman make up the legal team of Bigger & Harman, ticket defenders,
who represent clients in Central Valley traffic courts in Inyo, Tulare,
Kings, Mono, Kern, and Fresno, plus some counties in Southern California,
such as San Bernardino, SLO, Riverside, and Los Angeles counties in SoCal.
Those traffic courts are in Independence, Bishop, Porterville, Lamont,
Visalia, Hanford, Bridgeport, Shafter, Barstow, Bakersfield, and many
other major cities in Central and Southern California.
Call Bigger & Harman, 661-349-9300, or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org when you need legal advice or counsel or would like a traffic ticket attorney
to represent you in court. For a completely confidential and convenient
appointment, you can use the website
Read the write-up on
Nolo.com or check their reviews on
Yelp to discover what family, friends, and neighbors have said about Bigger
& Harman, a Central Valley traffic ticket legal team.
Se habla Español 661.349.9755.