Traffic rules


Governor’s Message

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Dear fellow :
It is one of my highest priorities to make certain that you, your friends and family, and all those traveling throughout our Golden State do so carefully. In order to help keep California’s drivers safe, I recently signed two important laws that will take effect in 2010.
One law expands the use of Ignition Interlock Devices as a pilot project in several cities in order to prevent drinking and driving. And the second law provides additional enforcement and oversight of tour bus owners and operators in our state. I am committed to ensuring that our state government will continue to find ways to improve the California driving experience.
Moreover, I encourage you to visit www.dmv.ca.gov to see all the services that are now available online through the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Their website allows you to renew your license and car registration and handle many other transactions without having to visit a field office.
On behalf of all Californians, I thank you for doing your part to drive cautiously, follow regulations, and promote safety on our streets.
Sincerely,

governor’s signature 
Arnold Schwarzenegger

 

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California Driver’s Manual

Offenses Involving Alcohol or Drugs (California Vehicle Code Sections 23152 – 23229.1)

Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License
Violation of License Provisions (California
Vehicle Code Sections 14600 – 14611)

Driving Without Insurance / With Insufficient Insurance
Division 7 – Financial Responsibility Laws (scroll down) (California Vehicle Code)

Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration
Division 3 – Registration of Vehicles and Certificates of Title (scroll down) (California Vehicle Code)

Illegal U-Turn
Turning and Stopping and Turning Signals (California Vehicle Code Sections 22100 – 22113)

Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run
Accidents and Accident Reports (California Vehicle Code Sections 20000 – 20018)

Mechanical Violations
Division 12 – Equipment of Vehicles (scroll down) (California Vehicle Code)

Reckless Driving
Reckless Driving (California Vehicle Code Section 23103)
Reckless Driving: Bodily Injury (California Vehicle Code Section 23104)

Running a Red Light / Stop Sign
Offenses Relating to Traffic Devices (California Vehicle Code Sections 21450 – 21468)

Seat Belt / Child Restraint Violations
Safety Belts and Inflatable Restraint Systems (California Vehicle Code Sections 27302 – 27317)
Child Safety Belt and Passenger Restraint Requirements (California Vehicle Code Sections 27360 – 27368)

Speeding
Speed Laws, Generally (California Vehicle Code Sections 22348 – 22366)
Other Speed Laws (California Vehicle Code Sections 22400 – 22413)

Unlawful Vehicle Modifications
Division 12 – Equipment of Vehicles (scroll down) (California Vehicle Code)


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Drinking & Driving Violations

It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.

It is unlawful for any person who has 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a vehicle.
For purposes of this article and Section 34501.16, percent, by weight, of alcohol in a person’s blood is based upon grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.
In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.08 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.
It is unlawful for any person who is addicted to the use of any drug to drive a vehicle. This subdivision shall not apply to a person who is participating in a narcotic treatment program approved pursuant to Article 3 (commencing with Section 11875) of Chapter 1 of Part 3 of Division 10.5 of the Health and Safety Code.
It is unlawful for any person who has 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood to drive a commercial motor vehicle, as defined in Section 15210.
In any prosecution under this subdivision, it is a rebuttable presumption that the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of driving the vehicle if the person had 0.04 percent or more, by weight, of alcohol in his or her blood at the time of the performance of a chemical test within three hours after the driving.


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Driving Without a License / With a Suspended License

(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle at any time when that person’s driving privilege is suspended or revoked for reckless driving in violation of Section 23103, 23104, or 23105, any reason listed in subdivision (a) or (c) of Section 12806 authorizing the department to refuse to issue a license, negligent or incompetent operation of a motor vehicle as prescribed in subdivision (e) of Section 12809, or negligent operation as prescribed in Section 12810.5 , if the person so driving has knowledge of the suspension or revocation. Knowledge shall be conclusively presumed if mailed notice has been given by the department to the person pursuant to Section 13106. The presumption established by this subdivision is a presumption affecting the burden of proof.

(b) A person convicted under this section shall be punished as follows:

(1)    Upon a first conviction, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days or more than six months and by a fine of not less than three hundred dollars ($300) or more than one thousand dollars ($1,000).

(2)    If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense that resulted in a conviction of a violation of this section or Section 14601.1, 14601.2, or 14601.5, by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 10 days or more than one year and by a fine of not less than five hundred dollars ($500) or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000).

(c) If the offense occurred within five years of a prior offense that resulted in a conviction of a violation of this section or Section 14601.1, 14601.2, or 14601.5, and is granted probation, the court shall impose as a condition of probation that the person be confined in a county jail for at least 10 days.

(d) Nothing in this section prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle, that is owned or utilized by the person’s employer, during the course of employment on private property that is owned or utilized by the employer, except an offstreet parking facility as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500.


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Driving Without Registration / With Expired Registration

(1)    No person shall drive, move, or leave standing upon a highway, or in an offstreet public parking facility, any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, pole or pipe dolly, or logging dolly, unless it is registered and the appropriate fees have been paid under this code or registered under the permanent trailer identification program, except that an off-highway motor vehicle which displays an identification plate or device issued by the department pursuant to Section 38010 may be driven, moved, or left standing in an offstreet public parking facility without being registered or paying registration fees.

(2)  For purposes of this subdivision, “offstreet public parking facility” means either of the

(3)           following:

(A) Any publicly owned parking facility.

(B) Any privately owned parking facility for which no fee for the privilege to park is charged and which is held open for the common public use of retail customers.

(1)    This subdivision does not apply to any motor vehicle stored in a privately owned offstreet

(2)    parking facility by, or with the express permission of, the owner of the privately owned offstreet parking facility.

(b) No person shall drive, move, or leave standing upon a highway any motor vehicle, as defined in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 39010) of Part 1 of Division 26 of the Health and Safety Code, which has been registered in violation of Part 5 (commencing with Section 43000) of that Division 26.

(i)    Subdivisions (a) and (b) do not apply to off-highway motor vehicles operated pursuant to Sections 38025 and 38026.5.

(d) This section does not apply, following payment of fees due for registration, during the time that registration and transfer is being withheld by the department pending the investigation of any use tax due under the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(e) Subdivision (a) does not apply to a vehicle that is towed by a tow truck on the order of a sheriff, marshal, or other official acting pursuant to a court order or on the order of a peace officer acting pursuant to this code.

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Illegal U-Turn

Regulation of Turns at Intersection

(a) The Department of Transportation or local authorities in respect to highways under their respective jurisdictions, may cause official traffic control devices to be placed or erected within or adjacent to intersections to regulate or prohibit turning movements at such intersections.

(b) When turning movements are required at an intersection notice of such requirement shall be given by erection of a sign, unless an additional clearly marked traffic lane is provided for the approach to the turning movement, in which event notice as applicable to such additional traffic lane shall be given by any official traffic control device.

(c) When right- or left-hand turns are prohibited at an intersection notice of such prohibition shall be given by erection of a sign.

(d) When official traffic control devices are placed as required in subdivisions (b) or (c), it shall be unlawful for any driver of a vehicle to disobey the directions of such official traffic control devices.

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Leaving the Scene of an Accident / Hit & Run

Duty to Stop at Scene of Accident

(a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), a person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine .

(2) If the accident described in subdivision (a) results in death or permanent, serious injury, a person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce or eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.

(3) In imposing the minimum fine required by this subdivision, the court shall take into consideration the defendant’s ability to pay the fine and, in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may reduce the amount of that minimum fine to less than the amount otherwise required by this subdivision.
(c) A person who flees the scene of the crime after committing a violation of Section 191.5 of, or paragraph
of subdivision

(i)    of Section 192 of the Penal Code, upon conviction of any of those sections, in addition and consecutive to the punishment prescribed, shall be punished by an additional term of imprisonment of five years in the state prison. This additional term shall not be imposed unless the allegation is charged in the accusatory pleading and admitted by the defendant or found to be true by the trier of fact. The court shall not strike a finding that brings a person within the provisions of this subdivision or an allegation made pursuant to this subdivision.

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Reckless Driving

(a) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(b) A person who drives a vehicle in an offstreet parking facility, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12500, in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property is guilty of reckless driving.

(c) Persons convicted of the offense of reckless driving shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not less than five days nor more than 90 days or by a fine of not less than one hundred forty-five dollars ($145) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, except as provided in Section 23104 or 23105.

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Running a Red Light / Stop Sign

Obedience to Traffic Control Signals

The driver of any vehicle, the person in charge of any animal, any pedestrian, and the motorman of any streetcar shall obey the instructions of any official traffic signal applicable to him and placed as provided by law, unless otherwise directed by a police or traffic officer or when it is necessary for the purpose of avoiding a collision or in case of other emergency, subject to the exemptions granted by Section 21055.
Obedience by Driver to Official Traffic Control Devices
(a) It is unlawful for a driver of a vehicle to fail to obey a sign or signal defined as regulatory in the federal Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, or a Department of Transportation approved supplement to that manual of a regulatory nature erected or maintained to enhance traffic safety and operations or to indicate and carry out the provisions of this code or a local traffic ordinance or resolution adopted pursuant to a local traffic ordinance, or to fail to obey a device erected or maintained by lawful authority of a public body or official.

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Speeding

Excessive Speed and Designated Lane Use

(b) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour is guilty of an infraction punishable, as follows:
(1) Upon a first conviction of a violation of this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). The court may also suspend the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle for a period not to exceed 30 days pursuant to Section 13200.5.
(2) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within three years of a prior offense resulting in a conviction of an offense under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13355.
(3) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within five years of two or more prior offenses resulting in convictions of offenses under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13355.
(c) A vehicle subject to Section 22406 shall be driven in a lane designated pursuant to Section 21655, or if a lane has not been so designated, in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, the driver shall use either the designated lane, the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, or the right-hand lane for traffic as permitted under this code. If, however, specific lane or lanes have not been designated on a divided highway having four or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction, a vehicle may also be driven in the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, unless otherwise prohibited under this code. This subdivision does not apply to a driver who is preparing for a left- or right-hand turn or who is in the process of entering into or exiting from a highway or to a driver who is required necessarily to drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his or her intended route.