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  1. #1

    Default When is Passing on the Right Allowed - VC 21755 Citation

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: California.

    I was in a lane that was two vehicles wide (I was in the area where people would park if parking was allowed, which it was not). Directly ahead of me was a new, separate lane leading to the entrance ramp to the freeway, where I was headed. Just before this new lane began there was an opening for a side street to the right. The vehicle on my left was going straight into their own separate lane ahead, but we were still in the area where there was no separate lane marking for me. I slowed to a stop when I saw a CHP officer who was turning left in front of me into the side street. He saw me and pulled me and someone behind me over for "passing on the right".

    My question: Although the infraction is for "unsafe passing on the right", it seems to me that this was a safe situation as there was no one ahead of me and the car on my left was going straight. The lane was wide because one or two carlengths ahead was the turning lane for the onramp. As soon as I saw the officer in front of me I stopped safely, and was surprised to find that he was motioning me off onto a side street to write me this ticket. What are my chances for contesting this citation?

    I was particularly unlucky because the officer was turning left in front of me into the side street to address a car and tow truck that had pulled over into that side street (perhaps an earlier accident?). So he had me and the car behind me pull over in front of the tow truck and wait about 30 minutes while he talked to them. Very trying!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: When is Passing on the Right Allowed - VC 21755 Citation

    Quote Quoting VC 21755. Pass on Right Safely
    The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
    You do have the right to contest the ticket and try to argue that what you did was safe. If you do so, I suggest getting an aerial picture from Google Maps (or equivalent) and some photos, so your case is understandable to the court.

  3. #3

    Default Re: When is Passing on the Right Allowed - VC 21755 Citation

    Thank you! What I'm getting from reading the posts here is that I should probably first file a trial by written declaration with a not guilty plea. Then if the judge rules against me I should ask for a trial de novo and bring the pictures and diagrams then? While asking nicely for traffic school afterward if I lose again? Is this the idea?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    1,622

    Default Re: When is Passing on the Right Allowed - VC 21755 Citation

    21755. The driver of a motor vehicle may overtake and pass another
    vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement
    in safety. In no event shall such movement be made by driving off
    the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.
    First of all, you need to understand that the officer will have the burden to prove that your passing on the right was unsafe. Just saying that you were passing on the right is not enough. You should cross examine him diligently. You should ask him specifically what was unsafe? Did you almost hit someone? Did the person you were passing have to take some evasive action? Did you squeal your tires or lose control of your vehicle? If not, then just what about your actions were unsafe? Note that the statute says nothing about sharing a lane, so just because there wasn't a line painted in between you isn't enough. After all, motorcycles do this (legally) all the time.

  5. #5

    Default Re: When is Passing on the Right Allowed - VC 21755 Citation

    Thank you. I am taking notes on this and will ask these questions when I go to trial. Is it your opinion that I should not lay this out in my trial by written declaration? It seems by others' posts that the only thing to say is "not guilty" at that point but I'm not sure why.

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