Illegal U-Turn

California Vehicle Code (CVC) § 22102

A Illegal U-Turn ticket will cost you $237 and Up in fines plus $1,000+ in insurance hikes and penalties.

Officer issuing Illegal U-Turn in California

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California Vehicle Code 22102

Our highways are very busy and congested at times. In the hustle and bustle of driving we are focused on which exit to take, making sure that we take the correct loop and interchange to get exactly where we need to be at the time we need to be there. The interstate is a maze, sometimes we are so focused that we realize that we have missed our opportunity to loop, interchange, or exit. The first thing we do is look for a place to make a U-turn. Illegal U-turns contribute to many accidents due to lack of awareness. Many times accidents can be prevented if we take the necessary steps of caution when making turns. We don’t want to get caught on the other end of making an improper or fatal illegal turn, so let’s explore the U-turn DO’S and DONT’S.

U-Turn is Legal

  • When traveling on a divided highway, you can use the center divider for a U-turn when it is not specifically marked for emergency personnel
  • Verify there is not a sign prohibiting the U-turn
  • Driver has right-of-way via a green traffic light or a green left turn arrow
  • U-turn only sign
  • Driver is traveling in the lane to the far left
  • No vehicles are approaching within 200 feet when driving through a residential area

U-Turn is Illegal

  • A sign prohibiting a U-turn is posted
  • Choosing to make the U-turn that can cause an accident
  • Business districts, driver’s may only turn at intersections or openings for turns unless there is a sign against it
  • Never make a U-turn on a one-way street
  • If the driver’s view is obstructed 200 feet in either direction
  • At or on railroad crossing
  • On a divided highway with two sets of double yellow lines or a divided highway that has a curb or other dividing section between the driver and the other side
  • When the driver is in front of a fire station

What does the California Code say about U-Turns?

CVC Section 22102 states no person shall make a U-turn in a business district except at an intersection, or where an opening is made available on a divided highway in accordance with Section 21651. When making a U-turn make your turn as close to the far left hand lane as much as possible in the direction of oncoming traffic.

CVC Section 21651 (a) states when you are driving on a divided highway in two or more sections by barrier or dividing sections it is illegal to:

  • To drive any vehicle across, over, or upon the dividing section.
  • Make any type of U-turn unless you are using a legally, properly, designated opening or dividing section in the barrier

The code section specifically states that it is illegal to drive to the right of the barrier of lanes of oncoming traffic. Violating this code section can result in a misdemeanor charge. Furthermore, if you violate this code and cause an accident you could go to jail.

What is the punishment for a California Traffic Ticket for an Illegal U-Turn?

The fine for a California traffic ticket for “Making an Illegal U-Turn” is $237 and one point against your driver’s license.You could plead guilty and pay the fine; however, your automobile insurance could increase for up to three years with the point on your record. Besides that who doesn’t want to keep their driving record squeaky clean. Therefore, a California traffic ticket under this section can be very costly in the long term.

If you received a traffic ticket under CVC 22102, contact our office to discuss how we can help you avoid court, fines, and increased insurance rates.