Driving on One Way Streets in California
When driving in California, one-way roadways can sometimes feel like the bane of your existence. Many of us have experienced being in high-traffic areas of major cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco and finding ourself in a maze of one-way streets. Figuring out the designated direction of travel can be confusing and it is easy to get turned around while looking for your destination or nearest open parking space.
Whether or not a driver is familiar with a roadway, one-way designations can sometimes be confusing and drivers may find themselves traveling down a road in the wrong direction. Most times this is done unknowingly, especially when the posted indicators are not clear and there is little or no other traffic.
However, when a driver is observed traveling the wrong way in one of these areas by a law enforcement officer, it’s a sure bet that the driver will find themselves with a traffic ticket for violating California Vehicle Code 21657.
What is CVC 21657?
The vehicle code that covers one-way roadways states as follows,
The authorities in charge of any highway may designate any highway, roadway, part of a roadway, or specific lanes upon which vehicular traffic shall proceed in one direction at all or such times as shall be indicated by official traffic control devices. When a roadway has been so designated, a vehicle shall be driven only in the direction designated at all or such times as shall be indicated by traffic control devices.
The code itself is a little jargon-heavy, but it essentially lays out the ability for an authoritative entity to designate one-way roadways, how one-way traffic can be designated and how vehicles need to behave when they encounter section set aside for single-direction travel.
Sometimes roads are designated for one-way traffic only in specific sections, which can range in distances from a single block to a number of miles. Some areas are designated for one-way traffic only during certain hours of the day. There are instances when a section of road may be temporarily marked for one-way traffic due to road construction or work being conducted on municipal utilities, while other areas of roadway are always open to traffic moving in only one direction. Sometimes these indications are very clearly marked, and other times . . . not so much.
If you find yourself cited for traveling in the incorrect direction, you will be facing a minimum fine of $237 plus a point on your driving record.
Reach out to our team today to find out more about your options with the citation. You can call us at (800) 985-8978 to speak with a knowledgable member of our Case Development team or submit your ticket for a free ticket review.