We all know that we can get a ticket for driving over the speed limit, but can the law really penalize us for driving too slowly? In fact, the answer is yes. California Vehicle Code Section 22400 implements a minimum speed law that prohibits motorists from driving below a certain speed limit. Additionally, California Vehicle Code Section 21654 prohibits slow-moving vehicles from being in any lane other than the far right-hand one. This article will discuss these two code sections in further depth.
California Vehicle Code Section 22400
California Vehicle Code Section 22400 prohibits drivers from slowing down or stopping on a highway, impeding or blocking the normal flow of traffic. Specifically, this code section states that no person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law. Furthermore, no person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.
So how do courts determine whether slowing or stopping is necessary? This depends on the circumstances surrounding the case. Whether a driver is impeding traffic can depend on a variety of circumstances such as the posted speed limit, the amount of traffic, the weather or other driving conditions, or the time of day.
VC Section 22400 additionally states that the Department of Transportation may determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that slow speeds on any part of a state highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic. In these cases, the department may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle, except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law. The minimum speed will be established using appropriate signs erected along the part of the highway for which a minimum speed limit is established.
In California, a violation of this section is considered an infraction. Violators may face a fine of around $200 and up to one point on their driving record. Although this may seem small, too many points on your record could lead to the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.
California Vehicle Code Section 21654
VC Section 21654 is another section of the California Vehicle Code that imposes laws for driving slowly. It states that any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction at such time shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb. Exceptions occur for when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.
Similar to VC Section 22400, a violation of VC Section 21654 is an infraction with a fine of around $200 and up to one point on their driving record. In sum, although it is important not to go over the posted speed limit, it can also be dangerous to drive too far below the speed limit, as this makes it more likely for an accident to occur and can lead to legal consequences.
Contact Wallin & Klarich Today
If you get a ticket for driving too slowly and impeding traffic, contact Wallin & Klarich as soon as possible to see how we can help. With 40+ years of experience, Wallin & Klarich is the greatest choice amongst Southern California criminal defense firms. Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients in a wide range of traffic-related cases, and we have the skills and resources to secure the best outcome for you.
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