Many CA law enforcement officers (LEO) get confused when they write a ticket to a trucker for a lane violation. A lane violation is what truckers refer to as a “third lane violation,” typically.
When the ticket states, “The driver was in the third lane of traffic, CVC 22107 violation.” That is the wrong traffic code for a lane violation. That could be mistaken for an unsafe lane change.
A lane violation for commercial drivers is usually a violation of CA Vehicle Code (CVC) 22348 (c), Speed Laws, which talks about designated lanes for commercial vehicles. However, a lane change violation is CVC Section 22107, Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals, which discusses providing a warning to other drivers before moving from your lane.
How the FMCSA Could View an Unsafe Lane Change Violation Versus a Lane Violation
The difference between an unsafe lane change and a lane violation is significant for the CDL holder. An unsafe lane change is a “serious offense” for a trucker, according to the FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications. Drivers convicted of “making improper or erratic traffic lane changes” for a second time within three years of the first face a 60-day driver disqualification by the FMCSA.
For instance, if the LEO issued a ticket for what is a lane violation in CA under CVC 22348 (c), Speed Laws, no one caught the mistake, and it went to the FMCSA as an illegal lane change, the FMCSA could issue a driver’s disqualification thinking it was an unsafe lane change.
In many cases, a traffic attorney can get a dismissal or reduced (non-moving violation) charge, where a lawyer from another area of law might not know it exists. Outside of traffic law, most attorneys would not know there was a difference between a lane violation and lane change violation, nor that an unsafe lane change violation could adversely affect your driving career.
Would a traffic court judge dismiss the ticket because the LEO quoted the wrong section of traffic code? In most cases, they would not dismiss it unless the error was pointed out to them. Always discuss every traffic violation with a traffic attorney to prevent costly errors.
Kern County Traffic Attorneys Who Handle Lane Violations & Lane Change Violations
When you get ticketed out there on SR-99, make sure the LEO wrote the ticket using the correct traffic code by calling Bigger & Harman (661) 349-9300. Se habla Español (661) 349-9755.
We know there is a serious difference between a lane change violation and a lane violation, what most truckers call a “third lane violation.”
The 2019-2021 CA Commercial Driver Handbook.pdf
The FMCSA CFR 49 Part 383.51, Driver Disqualifications