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It is unsafe and illegal to pass when you do not have a clear line-of-sight for the lane ahead of you. You are subject to a ticket for improper passing when your vision is impaired or limited by a hill or curve. It’s also illegal to pass with a solid yellow line, or when a stopped school bus displays the stop sign and flashing red lights to receive or discharge pupils.

Most charter bus drivers know this; however, a novice driver might not be aware of just how dangerous an improper turn can be. It could also be detrimental to your career and livelihood to get any moving violations.

What Is Improper Passing?

CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 21751Overtaking and Passing, describes the proper procedures for passing or overtaking another vehicle or vehicles on a two-lane highway, and states that the driver must ensure the left lane is “…clearly visible and free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking…”

What’s more, the FMCSA will assess the driver five CSA severity points for improper passing, which will stay on the driver’s Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) record for three years.

Before you put on your blinker and swing that big charter bus out into the next lane, ask yourself is it safe? Will I have the clearance to pass the vehicle in front and get back safely? What’s more, is it really worth the risk? Will taking the chance of overtaking this car or truck get me there any quicker, and will that minute or two make a difference, particularly when you are putting the lives of your passengers at risk?

Passing any vehicle on a two-lane road is always dangerous and rarely worth the risk, particularly when you have dozens of passengers depending on your decision-making and execution. Plus, how well do you know the capabilities of that bus? Can it get up to speed and around the vehicle you’re passing in time to prevent a collision?

You should never attempt to pass another vehicle when you can see another vehicle in that lane coming at you. It is tough to figure the speed of the oncoming vehicle. 

Also, never pass when you see a railroad crossing up ahead. In fact, according to the CA DMV Commercial Driver’s Handbook, you must stop 15 to 50 feet before the first track. See Section 4.3.5 – Railroad-Highway Crossing/Stops. 

It is improper passing when:

  • Weather conditions, curves, or hills restrict your vision
  • When you are close to an intersection or railroad crossing
  • When there is a solid line on your side or a double yellow
  • When there is a school bus stopped on either side when there is no divider
  • When there is a long line of traffic
  • When the vehicle in front of you signals their intention to pass
  • When the vehicle you intend to pass is doing the speed limit or very close to the speed limit 

This is not an all-inclusive list, merely some tips to avoid improper passing and the dangers it causes. 

Talk to a Traffic Attorney about an Improper Passing Violation Around Roseville    

When you get a ticket for improper passing in your charter bus on I-80, call Bigger & Harman, (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español 661.349.9755. 

We are a traffic attorney firm that can assist you with alleged CDL violations around Roseville and Sacramento. Give us a call. 



The 2019 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
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