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04 What are some noteworthy or peculiar California Vehicle Code laws?


This article is from the California Driving (and Surviving) FAQ, by "George J Wu" georgewu@netcom.com with numerous contributions by others.

04 What are some noteworthy or peculiar California Vehicle Code laws?

Disclaimer: these are paraphrased, and therefore may be wrong. If
you need to know exactly what the law says, please look it up!

-- both license plates issued for a vehicle must be displayed [CVC 5200]
-- a seller of a vehicle has 5 days to notify the DMV of the sale [CVC 5900]
-- a new owner must apply to the DMV for transfer of registration within 10
days [CVC 5902]
-- an accident must be reported within 10 days to the DMV in Sacramento if
there is death, bodily injury, or property damage > $500 [CVC 16000]
-- U-turns are permitted on any green light unless signs prohibit[CVC 21451]
-- a driver may not stop IN the crosswalk for a red light [CVC 21453(a)]
-- right turn on circular red (not a red arrow!), and left turn on circular
red from a one-way street onto a one-way street, are permitted after
stopping and unless otherwise posted [CVC 21453(b)]
-- a driver may not turn against a red arrow for the indicated turn
regardless of signals shown for other movements [CVC 21453(c)]
-- curb markings [CVC 21458}:
red: no stopping, standing, or parking
yellow: stopping only for loading or unloading passengers or freight
white: loading/unloading passengers, or depositing mail in adjacent box
green: time limit parking specified by local ordinance
blue: handicap parking
-- a double parallel solid line may be crossed to make a left or U-turn,
or turn into or out of a driveway or private road [CVC 21460]
-- a two-way left-turn lane may only be used to prepare for and make a left
turn or permitted U-turn from or into a highway; a vehicle shall not be
driven in that lane for more than 200 feet [CVC 21460.5(c)]
-- a _pair_ of double parallel solid lines may not be crossed [CVC 21651(a)]
-- a U-turn can be made wherever a left turn can be made on a divided
highway [CVC 21651(a)(2)], although see references to 22102-3 below
-- notwithstanding the prima facie speed limits, a vehicle driven at less
than the normal speed of traffic must be driven in the right-hand lane
except when passing or preparing for a left turn [CVC 21654]
-- motorcycles can make use of high occupancy lanes unless explicitly
prohibited by traffic control devices [CVC 21655.5]
-- the descending vehicle shall yield to the ascending vehicle on a grade if
the roadway is of insufficient width for both [CVC 21661]
-- when preparing to turn, you must drive into a bicycle lane, if one, no
more than 200 feet from the intersection [CVC 21717]
-- pedestrians have right-of-way in crosswalks, but pedestrians shall not
walk or run into the path of a vehicle [CVC 21950]
-- right turns must be made into the rightmost lane except when turning from
a terminating highway with three or more lanes or from a one-way highway
at an intersection [CVC 22100(a)]
-- left turns may be made into any available lane [CVC 22100(b)]
-- U-turns must be made from the two-way left turn lane, if one, or
leftmost lane otherwise [CVC 22100.5, 22102]
-- U-turns are prohibited in a business district except at intersections or
through openings in a divided roadway [CVC 22102]
-- U-turns are permitted in a residential district only if no vehicle
approaching is closer than 200 feet or where protected by sign or
signal [CVC 22103]
-- turn signals are required for turns and lane changes which may affect any
other vehicle [CVC 22107]
-- signals are required during the last 100 feet before turning [CVC 22108]
-- vehicles shall be stopped or parked, where permitted, with the right-hand
wheels within 18 inches of the right-hand curb; if no curbs, right-hand
parallel parking is required unless otherwise indicated [CVC 22502(a)]
-- it is unlawful to drive a vehicle while under the influence of an
alcoholic beverage or any drug [CVC 23152(a)]
-- it is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight,
of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle [CVC 23152(b)]
-- During darkness, lights shall not project glaring rays into the eyes of
oncoming drivers when approaching within 500 feet. The use of low beams
shall be deemed to avoid glare regardless of road contour. Low beam
headlamps shall be used when following another vehicle within 300 feet.
In all cases, foglamps and/or auxiliary passing lamps may be used with
low beams if they are aimed so as to avoid projecting glaring rays into
the eyes of oncoming drivers. [CVC 24403-9]
-- The operator of a private motor vehicle is responsible for the use of
seat belts by him/herself and all passengers 4 years of age or over
[CVC 27315(d)]; in addition, passengers 16 years of age or over are
responsible for their own seat belt use [CVC 27315(e)]. The fine for
not wearing a seat belt is $20 for the first offense and $50 thereafter
[CVC 27315(h)].

from sharen@iscnvx.lmsc.lockheed.com (Sharen A. Rund):
Effective 1 Jan 1993, you can be stopped and ticketed for _not_ wearing
your seat belt - currently, you can only be ticketed if the officer
stopped you for another infraction, then noticed that you were not
wearing your seatbelt.
-- a passenger seat restraint must be used for children under 4 [CVC 27360]
-- there doesn't appear to be a law giving right-of-way to either party in
a merge onto a freeway, although the Spring 1991 DMV California Driver
Handbook states "Freeway traffic has the right of way." [p. 48].
-- there is no law specifically prohibiting a lane change in the middle of
an intersecting, see FAQ below on that
-- there appears to be no maximum permitted number of lane changes per mile,
although CVC 22108 does require one to signal at least 100 feet before
executing a lane change


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