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  1. #1
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    Default California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

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

    I received ticket for violating 21461a - Failure to Obey Regulatory Sign just past the 101N onramp in Greenbrae, CA (Industrial Way) for merging onto the freeway instead of immediately exiting. There are two regulatory signs which are part of the onramp. Several hundred feet later, at the point where I merged, there are Guide Signs which state "To North 101 Keep Right".

    I initially thought that I could argue that Right Lane Must Exit doesn't prevent you from leaving the right lane, but this forum has dissuaded me of that. So now I believe my main defense becomes the poor placement of the regulatory signs and the confusing guide signs.

    Any help is appreciated. I'm happy to provide more detail, but my posts keep ending up in purgatory.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2018
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    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    I looked up this area on Google Maps, but I can't figure out what your issue is. Can you clarify?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    This is the on-ramp which I took, with the regulatory signs on the right and on the overpass: coordinates 37.9390736,-122.5160924. Suffice it to say I wasn't in "merge mode" and didn't notice the signs.

    Four hundred feet later when I did begin to merge, there were only green guide signs (e.g., the one on the right that says To North 101 Keep Right).

    37.9401784,-122.5158825 The overhead guide signs which you can see in that last link -- confusingly -- do not include 101N.

    All in all, I think this is a fundamentally confusing placement for the regulatory signs, but other than claiming that "Right Lane Must Exit" doesn't prevent me from leaving the right lane, or that the signs are not correctly positioned I don't see anything clear that I can point to.

    The only thing I can find in the MUCTD is that "the R18A(CA) sign shall be placed at the beginning of the 200 mm (8 in) solid white line approaching the exit ramp", which is not the case. However, the on-ramp + off-ramp situation is unique, so I feel like that hinging my case on that passage from the MUCTD would be a very flimsy technicality.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    17,610

    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    Click on this link for an aerial view of the interchange:

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/37...!3m1!1s0x0:0x0

    There's a little orange man in the lower right hand corner. Drag him to the spot where you were approaching the interchange and describe where you were coming from, going to, and what you did or didn't do.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2020
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    7

    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    I've tried that, but everytime I've posted a link my message ends up in moderation. In fact, in some cases my previous messages retroactively go into moderation, which has also happened when I post "too much" text. I've also tried to post URLs to screenshots and arrows, and those also end up in moderation.

    So start the little orange man is at the onramp at the coordinates I provided previously, at the intersection of Redwood Highway & Industrial Way and enters the 101N. The little orange man drives approximately 400 feet on the on-ramp until he's approximately at the point of the pin and tries to merge left onto the freeway, as he does on every other on-ramp. He can only see Guide signs and begins merging. Then the little orange man gets pulled over by an orange police officer.

  6. #6
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    I figured it out. It's not just the signs that are confusing it's the printing on the road. You're going west on Industrial Way. You cross the frontage road after the Chevron Station. You make a right. There are two signs that say Right Lane Must Exit. One on the side of the road and one on the overhead walkway right above a long white arrow painted on the road, after which is another arrow and right after that "101" is painted in that same lane. After that there is another arrow the head of which is at the end of the white line that separated the two far right lanes. That's also the place where the exit lane starts curving away from the highway. Just ahead, where the pin is, there's a sign saying "To North 101 Keep Right." At that point you were in the exit lane too long and would have had to have followed the frontage road past Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to get back on the 101 to continue going north.

    Seems to me that you should have crossed over to the 101 as soon as you made the turn.

    So, a couple of questions that may aid in your defense.

    What time of day?
    How heavy was traffic?
    Was that the first time ever that you drove that route?

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    Yes. That sums it up.

    The officer's argument is that I shouldn't have crossed over at all, and that in all situations where you enter on the frontage road then you must not leave the right lane and must continue past Sir Francis Drake. Given infraction 21461a (Regulatory Signs), then I don't see how I could have crossed over at all, other than heading straight from the frontage road (basically perpendicular to traffic) before the Regulatory signs (before yellow crash cushions).


    2pm on a Saturday.
    Medium Traffic.
    Yes. I'm unfamiliar with that route. I've driven on the highway maybe a few dozen times, but I don't recall ever entering that frontage road before.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: California 21461a Right Lane Must Exit and Confusing Sign Placement

    Quote Quoting jshannon
    View Post
    Yes. That sums it up.

    The officer's argument is that I shouldn't have crossed over at all, and that in all situations where you enter on the frontage road then you must not leave the right lane and must continue past Sir Francis Drake. Given infraction 21461a (Regulatory Signs), then I don't see how I could have crossed over at all, other than heading straight from the frontage road (basically perpendicular to traffic) before the Regulatory signs (before yellow crash cushions).
    I can see that argument being valid. It looks like you are in the exit lane as soon as you make the right turn and are stuck in it until you pass Drake and get to the next entrance ramp.

    Quote Quoting jshannon
    View Post

    2pm on a Saturday.
    Medium Traffic.
    Yes. I'm unfamiliar with that route. I've driven on the highway maybe a few dozen times, but I don't recall ever entering that frontage road before.
    If you are going to plead not guilty I suggest you get up on that walkway and make videos of traffic flow and see how many other make the same mistake.

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