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Taking a Left Turn is Not a Lane Violation

There are many things to consider when you make a left turn. Such as, who has the right of way at an unmarked intersection? Are U-turns legal and if so when? The state of California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has produced a handbook to answer some of these questions and we will clarify some of the points included in the handbook and address some not included, from a legal standpoint to help you avoid a lane violation.

Additionally, no matter who has the right-of-way, there are several things you will need to avoid, such as:

· Pedestrians

· Parked cars

· Bicycles

· Construction

· And, traffic

And, if there is a question as to who has the right-of-way, never force your perception of the situation, as this could lead to an accident, which could get you a reckless driving charge. Reckless driving is a misdemeanor with a mandatory jail sentence, so you never want that.

California Rules for Making a Left Turn

The rules or verbiage in California Vehicle Code (CVC), which applies to making a left turn or U-turn can be sketchy and confusing and your confusion could lead to a lane violation. For instance, when an intersection is controlled by a traffic light and you are not turning from the one-way street you are on into a one-way street, then you apply your left turn signal and stop for the red light before the marked line, if there is no marked line, then before the crosswalk, if there is no crosswalk, before you enter the intersection.

In addition, if there is a left turn arrow, you can never turn left without a green left-turn arrow except from the one-way street you are on into a one-way street. Even when you have a green left-turn arrow, you must still yield to pedestrians in the crosswalk.

A left turn from a two-lane or more street must be made from the left lane unless there is a left turn arrow or a sign indicating it is possible in another lane. In California, it is legal to turn into either lane on the opposing street; whereas, some states restrict a left turn to the left lane on the other street.

U-Turns from the Left Lane in a Business District

U-turns, the driving maneuver used to turn a vehicle back in the direction it came from is legal even in a business district; however, there are certain requirements. First, you must know what the state of California considers a business district. That answer to that is, an area is considered a business district when more than half the building along a 300-foot stretch are used for business, or a 600-foot stretch when the businesses are confined to one side of the road.

Unless it is marked, No U-turn, to make a legal U-turn in this area, you must make the U-turn from the left lane unless there is an arrow or a sign indicating it is possible in another lane, at an intersection with a traffic light (controlled intersection) on a green light. Or, when there is an open area for U-turn, where you will not drive over a curb or divider, you have a clear view, and there are no vehicles approaching within 200 feet.

Fighting a Lane Violation Ticket

If you are summons to appear in court due to a lane violation, Bigger & Harman can assist you to fight and win an unfair ticket. Call us today, 661-349-9300 or email attorney@markbigger.com to receive representation from one of the best traffic ticket defense teams in SOCAL. We represent clients from Los Angeles, Kern, Tulare, Inyo, and Riverside counties in traffic court. That’s all we do, don’t ask us to represent in family court because we would be lost, just as a divorce lawyer would be lost in traffic court.

A lane violation could cost between $200 and $400 with all the penalties and county and state assessments. Also, a point will be assessed against your license, which will negate your “good driver discount” and raise your insurance premiums. You will not be eligible for a good driver discount for at least three years. We can likely prove you were not within a business district or that your view was not obstructed. We know DMV procedures and the technicalities that can result in a dismissal. Give us a call to protect your driving privileges.

En español, llame al 661-349-9755.