California Right-of-Way

California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 21800

A California Right-of-Way ticket will cost you $237 and Up in fines plus $1,000+ in insurance hikes and penalties.

Officer issuing California Right-of-Way in California

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California Vehicle Code 21800

It can be difficult to navigate a vehicle on busy streets or high traffic areas. Drivers that are in a rush or easily distracted can fail to yield to the right-of way vehicle. Traffic signs are in place to assist us with upcoming changes in the road condition and to notify us of upcoming intersections. In addition, traffic signs help alert us to pedestrians and other vehicles in the area such as a buses, bicycles, or a train.

The 6 leading causes of collisions are improper lane change, speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road, improper turns, violation of right-of-way rules, and failing to obey stop signs and signals.

Here is a list of safety tips to help California drivers obey the rules for yielding:

  • Never assume you have the right of way.
  • Become familiar with the right-of-way rules.
  • Practice common sense and courtesy.
  • You do not have the right-of-way when a yield sign is present, if you’re moving forward from being parked, in a driveway, driving onto a busy street from a side street, and when driving on a freeway on-ramp.
  • Bicyclist and pedestrians always have the right-of-way.
  • Never try to anticipate another driver’s behavior.

What does CVC 21800 actually say?

CVC 21800 states that

California drivers that proceed to approach an intersection must yield to the right-of-way to any other motorists that have entered the intersection from another highway.

This vehicle code also outlines the rules drivers need to follow when they approach an intersection so they understand how to interact with another vehicle. You should recognize these rules from Driver’s Ed in which we are always taught the the right-of-way goes to the person on our right.

  • When two vehicles come to an intersection simultaneously from opposite highways, the rule of action is that the driver always yield right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her direct right except if a driver is traveling on a highway that ends, a driver must yield to the right-of-away of any vehicles present at the intersecting highway.
  • Once two vehicles enter the intersection simultaneously from opposite directions and the intersection controlled by stop signs in every direction, the rules of the road states that the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield to the right-of way to the on his or her immediate right.

These rules are in place as defaults for when a yield right-of-way sign is not present or if the intersection is not controlled by a light or other traffic control device. However, you may have encountered an intersection in which a traffic control signal is in place, but it is not properly functioning, like a four-way intersection normally governed by lights where the light signals are out. In these situations, you would apply the rules listed above to determine the right-of-way.

The one notable amendment to right-of-way regulations is of course when two vehicles approach one another from opposite directions and one intends to turn left. The individual who turns must yield to the oncoming car.

Right-of-way regulations exist to ensure driver’s understand how to behave when they cannot default to a sign or signal for guidance. Failing to yield to the right-of-way can have severe consequences and has the potential to endanger other drivers.

Have you received a California Traffic Ticket for CVC 21800?

A violation of CVC 21800 carries a minimum fine of $237. Not following this vehicle code can cause an increase in automobile insurance as well as one point added to your driver’s license.

Plan ahead when you are driving, anticipate the worst but expect the best. A driver who is conscious of their vehicular actions and other drivers on the roadway makes the roads safer for everyone. A sudden move or change in the direction of travel can increase the chances of an automobile collision. If one bad move has left you with a traffic ticket under CVC 21800, contact us and ask how we can help you avoid fines, court, and increased insurance rates. We also offer a free citation review.