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Overtaking on the Right Lane Violation

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, or intersection.

Additionally, CVC 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

CVC 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.

CVC 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 attorney@markbigger.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.