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Another Officer Seriously Injured While On Traffic Patrol

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 attorney@markbigger.com to receive the personal professional attention you deserve. En español, llame al 661-349-9755.