California may become the first state to legalize one of the more prominent forms of aggressive driving.
In May 2015, the Assembly approved a bill to allow lane-splitting at speeds of up to 15mph greater than the surrounding traffic. Advocates pointed to studies which show that motorcyclists who zoom between lanes are safer than those who are wedged between cars and stuck in traffic. The American Motorcyclist Association is actually opposed to the measure, as the AMA favors total deregulation. VC 21658 technically forbids lane-splitting, but it is very sparingly enforced.
A Senate committee is expected to take up AB 51 by this September.
Defending Subjective Violations in Court
Even though the term “road rage” actually originated in The Golden State, there is no section in the Vehicle Code which addresses the problem. Some aggressive drivers can be charged with a criminal offense, in some circumstances. The closest thing is the reckless driving law – VC 23103 – which prohibits driving “in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.” Reckless driving is one of the most subjective violations in the Vehicle Code, so it is rarely prosecuted in Delano and Ridgecrest.
Most all infractions are subjective, at least to some extent. An attorney can ask a series of questions like “How many vehicles did you observe that day?”, “How many motorists did you pull over?” and “How many X citations did you issue?”
If the officer answers forthrightly – “I observed 1,000 motorists, pulled over 100 and issued one reckless driving citation” – the judge may have the impression that the officer singled out the defendant and the officer’s credibility may be shaken. On the other hand, if the officer tries to outsmart the lawyer by answering “I don’t remember” or “I don’t know,” there may be a legal argument that the officer has no independent recollection of the facts and should not be allowed to testify.
This technique doesn’t always work, but it is nearly always worth a try.
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 email@example.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.