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What Is an Impeding Ticket, and Should You Contest It?

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Although most drivers believe they drive responsibly, it is common to be stopped by law enforcement officers (LEO) for infractions. When caught in such situations, drivers try to offer the best explanation to evade a ticket. Unfortunately, they might get an impeding ticket for several reasons. Once you receive a ticket, you have two choices: pay the fine and accept the possibility of increased insurance premiums, or plead not guilty and fight the ticket. 

Impeding Ticket

Remember the “Friends” episode when Ross got a ticket for going 37 mph on the highway in the Porsche after Rachel had gotten away with speeding and driving with an expired license? Had that been in California, Ross would have likely received an impeding ticket for violating CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22400Other Speed Lawswhich states, “No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic…”Or, “bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway…”That section of code goes on to say there are exceptions, such as for hill grades, safe operation, or when obeying the instructions of a law enforcement officer (LEO). It also gives Caltrans the authority to establish a minimum speed limit. 

CVC 22400 has been used to ticket drivers who open their door to impede a motorcycle driver who is using the legal procedure of lane-sharing or pulling their vehicle over closer to another car to block a motorcyclist. Driving five mph below the posted speed limit in the passing lane of a highway is also a ticketable offense. This type of behavior could cost you a good deal of money and points for a moving violation when convicted of an impeding ticket.

An impeding ticket can be either a moving violation or a non-moving violation. In most instances, the moving violation occurs for driving too slow on a highway. Although most impeding tickets get issued for driving too slow on the highway, particularly in the left lane of traffic, sometimes LEOs will issue such tickets to drivers in the curbside lane or on single lane roads with two-way traffic because driving too slow can back up traffic or cause other drivers to pass when it is unsafe.

In such cases, drivers are accused of driving below the minimum speed limit and thereby impeding traffic. However, drivers or their lawyer can request a dismissal of the impeding ticket if any of these conditions existed: 

  1. Show that certain conditions such as fog or reduced visibility necessitated the reduced speed. 
  2. Demonstrate that the grade of the road was not suitable for a higher speed. 
  3. Show that the driver complied with other laws that required a slower speed. 

California law indicates if a vehicle is moving much slower than the posted speed limit and there are five or more vehicles behind the slow vehicle, the turnout lane should be used to allow the traffic to pass and then proceed. However, this is usually used when there is a mechanical reason for driving too slowly. 

Likewise, CVC 22526Stopping, Standing, and Parking, covers various types of impeding traffic violations. There are several other common impeding violations. For instance, a driver can get issued an impeding ticket for blocking other vehicles’ access to an intersection or crosswalk. Impeding tickets can also be issued for turning at an intersection against a yellow arrow and blocking other vehicles from accessing the intersection or crosswalk. Blocking railway passageways and leaving insufficient clearance can also attract a ticket. These are all violations described in CVC 22526. 

Why Challenge an Impeding Ticket?

There are two main options for handling the ticket: paying or contesting. Some people find it easier to pay and attend traffic school to avoid going to court. This might be a wise choice but paying a fine without asking the advice of a traffic ticket attorney is never wise. A traffic ticket attorney will look at the entire situation and make a recommendation. 

A driver who decides to contest an impeding ticket can do so by representing themselves or hiring a traffic ticket attorney. Challenging the ticket could be smart because accumulating more than four negligent operator treatment system (NOTS) points within twelve months could result in a six-month driver’s license suspension and concurrent 12-month probation. Plus, if you have used traffic school for a traffic ticket during the last 18 months, you cannot attend again to keep the conviction confidential. Therefore, your insurance company will see the NOTS points and raise your auto insurance rate. 

You will lose your 20 percent “good driver’s discount,” and then, you will be in a higher risk category, which could raise your rate another 10-20 percent. The average driver in CA pays $1960 for insurance, a 30 percent raise is $588 more per year. Since the conviction will stay on your driving record for 36-39 months, you could pay an additional $1764 in insurance over that three years.  

Tulare County Ticket Attorneys

Call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300, if you have received an impeding ticket in Tulare County, or any traffic ticket within Central Valley and some SoCal locations. We can represent you in Visalia or Porterville traffic courts. We have been practicing traffic law for more than a decade and have secured dismissals and reduced fines for more than 2000 clients. Let us help you, too.

Call Bigger & Haman, APC for legal guidance you can count on that won’t break the budget.     

Email us,attorney@biggerharmanlaw.com, with your questions about an impeding ticket or any traffic ticket.    

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References:

The 2018 CA Driver Handbook .pdf

The DMV.CA.GOV portal

The 2018 Judicial Council of California’s Uniform Bail & Penalty Schedule

CVC 22400Other Speed Laws& CVC 22526Stopping, Standing, and Parking