CVC 21454 Lane Use Control Signals
How a driver should react to a traffic signal is one of the most fundamental laws when it comes to driving. Everyone knows there are three basic light colors that appear on a stoplight and the simple meanings that accompany each one. Green means go, red means stop, and yellow (or amber) means the light is in the process of changing from green to red, so a driver needs to quickly assess the situation to determine whether or not the light will turn red before passing through the intersection at the current rate of speed and then either continue through or stop, based on that determination.
Out of the normal context of a traffic light you see at an intersection, however, the signals may not be as intuitive.
CVC 21454 (c)
Section (c) states, “A driver shall not enter or travel in any lane over which a red signal is shown.”
Aside from a stoplight at an intersection, you may see light signals governing highway entry through ramps or even express lane entry on highways. Just like when you stop when the signal turns red at the intersection, ensure that you are acknowledging the authority of the red light at these less orthodox spots. With metered ramps, wait for the signal to change back to green. When an express lane shows a red signal, do not enter the lane.
CVC 21454 (d)
Section (d) states, “A driver may use the lane only for the purpose of making a left turn to or from the highway.”
A lone yellow signal is much less common, but in rural parts of the state you may see this elusive signal. Since these areas generally see much less traffic, this vehicle code allocates discretion to the driver to turn left onto or off of a highway safely even though there is not a signal dictating the behavior of other traffic lanes.
When making these discretionary turns, ensure that all traffic is clear before proceeding.
Consequences of CVC 21454
The subsections of this vehicle code apply to vastly different situations and carry different penalties.
21454(c) carries a minimum fine amount of $490 plus a point on the driving record
21454(d) carries a minimum fine amount of $238 plus a point on the driving record
Being cited for a traffic violation is never fun, but it doesn’t have to turn into a complete headache or cost you a lot of money. Reach out to our legal team to better understand your options. We offer a free ticket review.