California Driving, Overtaking, and Passing

California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 21654

A California Driving, Overtaking, and Passing ticket will cost you $237 and Up in fines plus $1,000+ in insurance hikes and penalties.

Officer issuing California Driving, Overtaking, and Passing in California

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California Vehicle Code 21654

Passing and overtaking another vehicle is a common driving technique. A driver should always be aware of rules of the road. Conscious driving is important in the safety of all drivers as well as passengers on the road. Rules of the road are designed to keep us safe while driving.

Different factors such as weather, speed, the presence of pedestrians, or bicycles present a greater risk when a driver chooses not to follow the rules. On the other hand sometimes it feels impossible to adhere to all the guidelines while trying to navigate the congested roadways.

Good driving practices include referring to traffic signs, street signs, street signals, or changing conditions on the road such as construction to keep you and others safe on the road. The California Department of Motor Vehicles suggests that scanning the areas around you as a preventive measure will keep you alert and safe on the roads.

A driver’s eyes should not remain stationary in one position but should always be in motion, looking for possible signs of hazards that could create a problem on the road. A driver can effectively scan areas of the road by following these tips:

  • Know the location of all vehicles traveling around you.
  • Do not make any last sudden minute moves.
  • Prepare for any lane changes you are attempting to make.
  • Your mirrors are great resources for viewing what is behind you and beside you.
  • Provide enough space between you and the other cars traveling ahead of you, in the event you have to stop.
  • When traveling on the highways, identify your exits before you get to them.
  • Keep an eye on pedestrians in the areas of your travel.

Scanning the area around helps assists you in preparing for what is ahead. Scanning gives a driver the ability to see possible blind spots, predict outcomes, and gives you enough time to respond efficiently.

What does the California Code say about CVC 21654?

(a) CVC Section 21654 asks that drivers who are proceeding forward in the same direction with a lower speed than the normal speed that is posted to travel as close to the right-hand lane for traffic. In addition, drivers should remain as close as possible to the right-hand edge or curb when permissible except for when passing or overtaking another vehicle traveling in the same direction or making a left-hand turn into a private driveway, road, or at an intersection.

(b) A driver that is not operating their vehicle in the farthest right-hand lane in the same direction, or at a lower speed than the normal suggested speed of traffic not closest to the right-hand edge or curb provides prima facie evidence that the driver is considered in violation of subdivision (a) of section 21654.

(c) The Department of Transportation is subject to place and maintain with attention to state highways, local authorities, and highways under their jurisdiction official signs that depict slow-moving traffic to use the right-hand lane except when passing a vehicle, preparing for a left-hand turn, or overtaking.

This vehicle code attempts to alleviate some of the woes caused by heavily congested traffic by regulating that slower-moving vehicles keep to the right-hand lane except to pass or prepare for a left turn. Sometimes when roadways are busy, it can be tempting to drive in the lane with the fewest number of cars, even if you are driving slower than the general flow of traffic. Resist this urge, lest you be cited for a violation of CVC 21654.

Have you received a California Traffic Ticket for CVC 21654?

Practicing awareness can force a driver to be proactive giving them an advantage on the roadway. Costly mistakes that are critical to a driver’s driving history can be prevented by simply looking around and being aware of their surrounding. A citation for CVC 21654 creates problems for a driver that could of avoiding by a slight change in their driving habits.

A violation of this vehicle code carries a minimum fine of $237 with one point assessed against your driver’s license.

If you received a traffic ticket, reach out to our team to understand what your options are with the citation. We offer a free ticket review.