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help me understand this law

Discussion in 'Speeding Tickets, Traffic & Moving Violations' started by calvine, May 5, 2019.

  1. calvine

    calvine Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
    California
    I went to california government website looked up all relevant codes on this topic.

    Is it legal to swerve out of your lane a little bit if done so safely? what is you sneezed, what if you had a bee in your cab that woke up and flew after you? I think if you swerved safely it's legal. I want your opinions on the topic. I'll assist you and post 2 relevant vehicle codes. the 3rd closest vehicle code I could find was talking about passing other vehicles on the shoulder.

    code 21658.PNG code 22107 one i got ticket for.PNG
    I feel vehicle code 21658 says it's okay to swerve out of your lane if done so safely. i imagine it's given to people who swerved caused another vehicle to crash, or they swerved and collided with an object on the shoulder, etc. i'd imagine this code protects people who swerved without time to use turn signals, for whatever reason, they sneezed, bee in the car flew at them, they dodged an object etc. no time to use turn signals, this code defends them? doesn't it clearly say 'if done so safely'?

    I feel that vehicle code 22107 is referring to changing lanes through traffic with no turn signals and doing full lane changes without a turn signal. 22107 is in the section regarding lane changes and turns which further helps clarify it's intent in my opinion. move to 'left or right' could mean lane change, it could mean lane swerve, but it's in the section regarding lane changes and turns. so i think it's talking about that.

    does my interpretation of these laws sound about right? am i wrong?

    I'm trying to find out if it's legal to do a brief lane swerve if done so safely,
     
  2. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Were you ticketed for lane swerve? Or is this hypothetical?
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Ditto justblue's question.
     
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    When You Can Cross a Double Yellow Line in California?

    In California, you can cross a double yellow line in these situations:

    To pass a slower vehicle – broken line on your side. If the double yellow line closest to you is broken (dashed), you may cross them to pass another vehicle. (VC 21460(c)(1).) Do not cross over the lines to pass if the line is solid on your side.

    To make a left or U-turn – broken lines on the inside. If two double yellow lines that are broken on the inside create a turning lane between opposite lanes of traffic, you may use that center lane to make a U-turn or turn left, provided that you follow any other visible signs. Be aware that this type of lane is often used as a turn lane for both directions of traffic, and often arrows are used to indicate where your side is permitted to turn. You can also make a left turn into this center lane to help you merge into traffic to your right. Whether making a left turn from this lane or into this lane, you can travel between the double yellow lines for a maximum of 200 feet. (VC § 21460.5.)

    To turn into or out of a private driveway. You may cross a double yellow line to turn into or out of a private driveway. (VC 21460(d)(1).) For example, if you live on a street that is divided by a double yellow line, you may turn into your driveway across the double lines.

    To make a legal U-turn. In some circumstances, you can cross a double yellow line to make a U-turn. For example, if you’re in neither a business district nor a residential district, you can cross a double yellow line to make a U-turn as long as you have an unobstructed view for 200 feet. Learn more about U-turns in California.

    To get out of the way of an emergency vehicle. If you’re traveling in a carpool lane marked by a double yellow line, you may not exit the lane until the line becomes broken. However, if an emergency vehicle comes up behind you, you must safely cross the double lines to get out of the lane to allow the emergency vehicle to pass. (VC § 21655.8.(b).)

    What Happens if You Cross Illegally?

    If a law enforcement officer catches you illegally crossing over a double yellow line, you will likely get a ticket and face a hefty fine. You may also receive points on your driver's license for the moving violation. If you cause an accident after illegally crossing a double yellow line, the consequences will be more severe -- you could become financially liable for the other driver's damages and injuries.
     
  5. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    That's not the OP's question.
     
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  6. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    Contest is important here.
    A lane serve as described is not necessarily illegal, but no information was given to determine whether there was a safety issue or not.
    Apparently there was no citation or the offense would have been specifically noted.
    I suspect this question has more to do with reason for initiating a stop which led to something else.
    Yes, based on the information given, an officer could initiate a reasonable stop of the vehicle and anything else that developed during that contract is likely fair game.
    A police officer does not have to witness an illegal act to make a traffic stop. There are other justifications.
     
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  7. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    calvine, you're going about it backwards. The law does not allow for you to swerve out of your lane without a proper signal, or to cross a double-yellow line, however, you may have a defense if you swerve to avoid some hazard or other dangerous situation. For example, if a person darts out from the side of the road and you swerve to avoid hitting that person, or if a car cuts in front of you and you swerve to avoid a collision with that car, those would be reasons that such a maneuver would be allowed. Swerving out of your lane because you're not paying attention is illegal. Swerving out of your lane because a bee is in your car will get you a ticket, but if you are believable in court, the ticket might be dismissed, if the judge is so inclined.
     
  8. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Let me simplify what I said above:

    You aren't given a free pass to swerve out of your lane simply because it's "safe" to do so.
     
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  9. mightymoose

    mightymoose Moderator

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    This is not entirely accurate. There is case law in California that supports that a lane change (or other movement) is not a violation unless that movement effects the safety and movement of other vehicles. We were not given information to determine this, just the opinion that it was safe.
     
  10. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    Fair enough - but that would still be up to the OP to argue in court if cited ;)
     
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  11. justblue

    justblue Well-Known Member

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    Aren't hypotheticals fun??!!! :rolleyes:
     
  12. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    No, I hated them in law school, I hate them in real life. :D

    Although my children often joke about how I'd use hypos when I had to discipline them. :D

    One of my daughters became a lawyer, and she's come to love hypos, using my tactic on her children.

    I'm building my legacy here, people. :)
     
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