Vehicle Code 21658a CVC - Lane Straddling

If you’ve recently received a citation in the mail that alerts you to a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation, you might be wondering about what exactly you should expect. To help you get up to speed, here are some of the essential details to guide you on your way to the better understanding that you deserve.

What is Vehicle Code 21658a CVC?

To help start off in the right place, let’s start with the explanation from the California legislation. They list a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation as being: “whenever any roadway has been divided into two or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction…[a] vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical entirely within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety.”

While the language is a bit wordy, it’s basically saying that it’s a violation for a vehicle to sit on the lane marker line, weave back and forth, or zig-zag. When changing lanes, it must be done safely, logically, and completely.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 21658a CVC?

While this is a simple traffic code violation to obey, it’s also an easy one to violate since movement between lanes happens all the time. To help you get a better understanding of just what you should know about its limits, our imaginary California driver, Gina, will demonstrate!

In our first example, Gina is driving along to work and comes up on a few cars. Rather than pass safely and pointedly, she nudges over the line separating the lane, passes, and then tucks herself back into the lane in front of the slower-moving car. In this case, Gina is guilty of a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation because she didn’t switch lanes entirely to pass. She just straddled the line and pulled back in. This is unsafe passing and also is considered staddling since she intentionally hugged the line.

In another example, Gina is hurrying to meet her boyfriend for a date. Traffic is heavy, so she is jumping from lane to lane, passing cars as she tries to make up for leaving her apartment late. She is driving the speed limit and passing safely but still zig-zagging from one lane to another. This act of zig-zagging is a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation.

In our last example, Gina is alone on the road. Since she knows she’s alone, she simply waves in and out of the lanes on the street. There is no reason for her to do so, but she does so anyway. In this case, she’s guilty of a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation because she is intentionally weaving and straddling, and zig-zagging. There is no motivation behind why she needs to move or change lanes. 

There are some exceptions to Gina’s eligibility for the Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation, most of which are going to relate to the reasons for her movements. In the first example, let’s say that Gina passed entirely into the next lane and then ended up in front of the slow car. She’d be innocent of a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation because she didn’t straddle the line and passed safely. 

In the second example, Gina is allowed to change back and forth between lanes and pass cars as she wishes, as long as she does so safely. If she isn’t zig-zagging around but is intentionally and correctly using the lanes to pass as needed, a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC voilation wouldn’t apply. 

Thirdly, Gina would be convicted of a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation only if she crossed the line in her lane. If she accidentally met the line or even went over the line for shorter than 10 seconds but then corrected her driving, he’d be innocent of a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation. It applies only to needlessly and intentionally driving all over the road.

What can I do about this violation?

This is a minor violation compared to other types, but it is still going to carry a penalty. The first is a fine of approximately $240. There are court fees added to this violation fee as well. The second part of this violation is that it will add 1 DMV point to your record. This can add to other points that you may already have and cause problems. 

When you receive your court date, you may see on the letter the option of attending traffic school, which can help with this. We will get into that more below. On your court date, you’ll need to enter your plea. If you believe that you are innocent or qualify for one of the exceptions, you can have the assistance of a traffic court attorney to help. If you are guilty of the violation, however, the best thing that you can do is enter your plea as such and accept the penalty.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

There are other violations that can be connected to a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation. Depending on the situation surrounding your ticket, they can be added to your list of charges. Common ones include:

  • Vehicle Code 21650 CVC: This is a large code that covers right-hand lane violations and using the right-hand lane incorrectly.
  • Vehicle Code 21755 CVC: This violation is for when you pass unsafely on the right of another vehicle rather than on the left at a safe distance.
  • Vehicle Code 22102 CVC: This violation is for making an illegal U-turn, which can apply, assuming you’ve made a U-turn or were attempting to.

Just because these tickets are here doesn’t necessarily mean they will all be applied. It means that the peace officer issuing your ticket can choose to attach these violations if they decide that they are relevant to the offense a driver committed.

The peace officer and judge can also choose to use any or all of these in place of the Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation if they feel that it is a better fit for the situation. These will all carry their own penalties.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

As introduced above, attending traffic school can be an option on your court letter. Generally, traffic school eligibility is dependent on whether you’ve received a moving citation, have not been to traffic school within the last 18 months, and if you committed the violation in a personal vehicle as opposed to a corporate one. If you meet those parameters, a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation is eligible for traffic school.

This is not a requirement as part of the penalty, and traffic school is always voluntary. There are many advantages to seriously considering it, however, and they contain both ticket-specific benefits and general ones!

As far as your citation is concerned, attending a traffic school can speed up the process. You can agree to attend traffic school, pay your fines, and get to work. It will help you get your schedule back to normal much faster and easier. As well, attending traffic school is intended to help you learn how to improve your driving technique. So, you’ll find that you will leave knowing how to avoid a future citation.

As far as general benefits are concerned, the main one — and the reason why many choose it — is because it will mask your DMV point. As long as you attend an accredited traffic school such as MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, you can successfully mask the point from your record and keep it clean. This helps keep your insurance premiums stable, too.

Another general benefit is that attending a modern traffic school is fun! Yes, really! You’ll learn all about general traffic rules driving techniques, and you’ll be able to enjoy yourself in the process. Classes are taught in modern and funny ways since humor is often one of the best tools to help you remember things after the fact. Since this is the whole point of the course, it’s done intentionally! It’ll be a great way to learn the traffic rules you need to help your traffic-related life be that much easier.

Have questions on MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL and its programs? Or perhaps you’d like to know more about your Vehicle Code 21658a CVC? Please feel free to contact us, and we’ll fill you in. If you need a more personalized approach to your citation, the court that issued your ticket can also help.


How can I avoid a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation?

In order to save yourself the frustration of a court date and the time it takes to consider traffic school, the best thing you can do is avoid a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC citation in the first place. We’ve got some tips to help you do just that.

Firstly and most importantly, know how to pass and use the lanes properly on the roadway. One of the main reasons why drivers end up with a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation is because they aren’t passing correctly when it comes to the lines and their vehicle’s use of them. There are rules in the driver’s handbook about how to use lanes when passing, and you’re expected to follow them.

Secondly, you’ll want to always use the lines as they are intended. They aren’t just painted strips, though some may see them that way. Using them correctly is also using them safely. Don’t weave around or staddle them just because you can. You can switch back and forth as needed and literally stay in your own lane. Doing otherwise confuses other drivers and can put all of you at more risk of an accident.

Lastly, it’s important to leave enough time to get where you want to go. Another common reason for this violation is because people are late and are passing other cars and avoiding obstacles purely to get to where they need to go in less time than it would take to do it properly. It sounds so simple, but it is related much stronger than most think when it comes to the proper lane and line use!

The lines on the roadway are there to use for everyone’s safety, and when you deliberately misuse them, it puts everyone at risk. Remember: a Vehicle Code 21658a CVC violation only applies if you are intentionally and deliberately misusing the lines as you drive. If you have no choice, or you are using them correctly, then the violation doesn’t apply!



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