Vehicle Code 21654 CVC - Driving Too Slowly Not on the Right
There’s never a fun time to receive a violation in the mail, but it does happen. Have you received a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation, and you’re wondering just what you should know about it? We’ll cover the basic information below, including:
- What Vehicle Code 21654 CVC?
- What it means to have violated it
- What you can do about the violation
- Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections
- How to avoid being cited with a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation
What is Vehicle Code 21654 CVC?
To keep things as simple as possible, let’s start with the official code write-up from the California legislation. This reads that a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC is when: “any vehicle proceeding upon a highway at a speed less than the normal speed of traffic moving in the same direction…shall be driven in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb, except when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction or when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or into a private road or driveway.”
In the simplest terms, this violation implies that the slowest vehicles on a multiple-lane roadway must be to the right, rather than in the center or in the left lane. The center and left lanes are for the faster moving vehicles so that there is no line-up due to a slower moving vehicle.
What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 21654 CVC?
While it is pretty simple to keep in mind when choosing your lane, there are some real-life driving situations to think about and, of course, some exceptions to it. Let’s create our fictional California driver, Ted, and put him in some situations to see how a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC would apply and not apply.
Ted is driving along in the right lane of the highway. He is going slower them 5MPH of the speed limit posted. He decides to switch lanes and goes to the center lane or the left lane. The cars behind him are moving faster than him, of course. He is then guilty of a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation because he is in the wrong lane to be moving as slowly as he is.
Similarly, Ted is driving in the center lane and is aware that he is driving slower than the other drivers. As a responsible California driver, he should move over into the right-hand lane in order to let the traffic through. He continues in the center lane nonetheless because he doesn’t want to change lanes. He would be guilty of a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation because he is knowingly in the incorrect lane for his driving period.
This is pretty simple to follow and violate, but there are some exceptions to know about when it comes to “committing” or receiving this Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation, and these can complicate things a bit.
Firstly, let’s say that Ted was driving along at a normal speed. He was following the speed limit as directed and was in the center lane. If he received a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation, it wouldn’t apply. The fact that he is driving at the speed limit posted and not below or holding up traffic means that he is not in violation of Vehicle Code 21654 CVC.
This would also be the case if the other cars around him were speeding excessively and Ted wasn’t. Even though Ted is in the center lane, he is following the speed limit and is not driving below what he should be. The fact that the other cars are not doesn’t make him guilty!
Another exception would be if Ted was driving along at a slower speed than other drivers, but he was in the correct right-hand lane. In this case, he is in the correct lane for his speed and is not violating the law itself.
Lastly, an exemption would also be granted if Ted is involved in an emergency of some kind and is driving slowly to accommodate that. In this case, he is not deliberately trying to cause a problem, but he is in an emergency situation and needs to adjust his driving for that reason alone.
What can I do about this violation?
This violation is considered a minor one, so it’s an infraction. This would carry a fine of approximately $237 and will also carry a penalty of 1 DMV point to be added to your record. Because it’s so minor, some drivers will assume that they can simply ignore it because it doesn’t matter, but this is not the case. Ignoring the ticket will only worsen the situation in a serious way.
When you receive a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation, you will receive a court date as well as a note that states whether or not you can attend traffic school voluntarily. We will discuss this in greater detail below.
That court date is when you will appear in court and plead innocent or guilty of the charge. If you are guilty, the best thing to do is plead as such as accept the punishment by paying the fine and court fees. If you are innocent and believe that you qualify for one of the exceptions, as listed above, you can have a traffic court attorney represent you and help you dismiss the charge.
Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections
There are some similar tickets that can be either added to or used in place of a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation. This determination depends on the situation surrounding your original citation and the peace officer’s professional judgment when issuing the original ticket. Common ones include:
- Vehicle Code 21755 CVC: This code implies that you are passing unsafely on the right rather than on the left. This applies in situations where you are in the wrong lane for passing and passing cars on the right.
- Vehicle Code 38300 CVC: This code implies that you are disobeying a sign or signal, which would be the sign stating that slow-moving cars have to be in the right-most lane.
- Vehicle Code 21650 CVC: This is the general code for any and all right-hand lane violations, which this would fall into.
When issuing the citation, the peace officer can apply any or all of these citations to the Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation. Or, use them in place of it if they feel that the other citations are more descriptive. All of these carry their own fines and possible DMV point additions, which will worsen the penalty.
Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?
Moving citations are generally eligible for traffic school. These are citations that you receive related to the direct movement and driving technique of your vehicle. You will be happy to learn that a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation is eligible for attending a traffic school, as long as you have not attended it within 18 months and that you did not commit the offense in a corporate vehicle.
Traffic school is not required and is always voluntary. Many people will choose to pass on it because they feel it is superfluous. However, this is an oversight in many cases! When choosing to attend an accredited traffic school, like MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, you are immediately on your way to making yourself a better driver.
Taught through informative, engaging, and funny class sessions, you’ll be able to get back on the roads upon completion, knowing that you better understand traffic laws and that you are much more confident in your driving technique, too. The right school can make all of the difference in your comfort on the road and can help you avoid violations in the future.
Attending also carries the benefit of masking the DMV point from your record, which can help you keep your insurance premiums level instead of increasing them like this would otherwise. This is something to think about if you are still a young driver. As well, agreeing to attend traffic school is going to speed up the process of the violation, too, which is often preferred by those who want to put it behind them and simply get back to the regular way of things.
Do you have questions or concerns on traffic school eligibility, receiving a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation, or just need more information on how traffic school can help you? Please contact us, and we’ll be happy to give you the information that you need. If you need some more information on your ticket, in particular, and your case, you can also contact the court that issued you the ticket!
How can I avoid a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation?
Since you always want to do the best that you can to keep your driving record clean and clear, as well as be a good driver, learning how to avoid a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation is important. Below, we’ve put some basic tips together to help you do just that.
The most important thing to remember is that driving in the right-hand lane is for the slower drivers. Regardless of the reason for the slow driving, or “how slow is slow” as far as the MPH itself, the right-hand lane is intended for this speed. If you are slower than the drivers in the center of the left-hand lane, then the right-hand lane is the best choice for you.
Let’s say you’re in a situation where you realize that the other drivers are queuing behind you in the center lane, and the driers on the left are whizzing past you. It can feel cumbersome or “embarrassing” to move into the right lane. It shouldn’t be, but many people will avoid it for these reasons. However, part of being a responsible driver is acknowledging that you’re in the wrong lane. The proper thing to do is when it is safe to do so, merge into the right lane and allow traffic behind you to clear. This is assuming that everyone is following the speed limit, as we stated above in the exceptions.
There will always be traffic that will move faster than you, whether rightly or wrongly. When you know that you are driving slower than those around you, move to the right-hand lane when you can. It will always work in your favor and will also save you road rage or emotional distress when you see the traffic building up behind you.
Then there’s the idea that it will also save you a cumbersome and equally embarrassing Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation! Please keep in mind: Being charged with a Vehicle Code 21654 CVC violation means that you are knowingly and deliberately holding up traffic by driving a vehicle slowly in the center or left lane. If there is an emergency or you are not driving slowly, this violation wouldn’t apply.