CVC Section 22106 states:
“No person shall start a vehicle stopped, standing or parked on a highway, nor shall any person back a vehicle on a highway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”
This section sounds simple but in practice can be difficult to interpret at times. Essentially, you have to look before you back up on a highway to be sure you can do so without colliding or coming close to colliding with another vehicle or pedestrian.
Starting a car that is stopped with reasonable safety generally applies to motorists who spin their wheels when starting up. Other unsafe practices include performing “donuts” (driving a car in a tight circle while accelerating) in a parking lot, pulling out from a parking spot into oncoming traffic or suddenly accelerating but not necessarily speeding.
Any of these maneuvers are considered dangerous and an officer will likely cite you.
What is Considered Reasonable Safety?
In deciding whether to cite you under CVC 22106, the officer uses his or her judgment in deciding if your actions were unsafe. Peeling off from a stopped position or deciding to accelerate quickly even for a few seconds before slowing down will nearly always be deemed unsafe. There is no excuse for performing donuts anywhere.
If you enter oncoming traffic from a stopped or parked position and cars have to suddenly slow or swerve into an adjoining lane to avoid you, then you can expect a ticket as well. Mechanical problems can also be the cause of a car suddenly accelerating or you were spinning your wheels due to ice or some slippery substance.
A violation of CVC 22106 is an infraction and will result in a point on your license. The fine for this ticket starts at $237, though your costs will be much higher since your auto insurance carrier will increase your rates to where you end up paying hundreds of dollars or even more than $1,000 over what you are currently paying for your premiums annually.
If you received a citation for unsafe starting and backing, reach out to our knowledgable team to learn more about your options. You can also submit your ticket for a free review.