CVC 21718 Stopping On The Freeway
We’ve all seen vehicles pulled over on the side of a freeway. Some have their drivers and/or passengers still with them, while others are just sitting there. Most of us have probably had to pull over on the side of a freeway at one time or another and, in doing so, may have broken the law.
The thing is, it’s not legal to just pull over and park on the side of the freeway just because you want to. There are times when it’s acceptable and times when it is not. California Vehicle Code 21718 outlines the instances when it is actually legal to stop or park on the side of a freeway.
When Is It Okay?
· When necessary to avoid injury or damage to persons or property.
· When required by law or in obedience to a peace officer or official traffic control device.
· When any person is engaged in maintenance or construction on freeway property or an employee of a public agency is engaged in the performance of official duties.
· When a vehicle is so disabled that it is impossible to avoid temporarily stopping and another vehicle has been summoned to render assistance to the disabled vehicle or driver of the disabled vehicle.
· Where stopping, standing or parking is specifically permitted. This does not pertain to buses unless a sidewalk is provided with shoulders wide enough to permit stopping without interfering with the normal movement of traffic and without the possibility of crossing over fast lanes to reach the bus stop.
· When necessary for a person to report a traffic accident or other incident regarding a disabled vehicle to a peace officer.
· When necessary for the purpose of rapid removal of impediments to traffic by the owner or operator of a tow truck operating under an agreement with the Dept. of the California Highway Patrol.
Perception and Understanding are Key
Some of the above instances are certainly open to interpretation. For instance, a driver having mechanical issues with his car may believe it is fine to keep driving until he finds an appropriate exit, while another driver experiencing the same difficulties might not feel safe enough with the vehicle to continue driving. This is just one example, but it shows that a traffic citation issued for an alleged violation of CVC 21718 can be disputed. There are many reasons a driver might choose to stop on the side of a freeway and just because a particular peace officer doesn’t recognize the reason as valid, that doesn’t mean the court will not.
These violations carry a minimum fine of $237 and will add a point to your driving record.
Reach out to our team to get a better idea of your options with the citation and what we can do to assist. We offer a free ticket review to get an understanding of your case.