Vehicle Code 21710 CVC - Coasting In Neutral

It can be a nasty surprise to open the mail one day and find out that you’ve received a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation citation. If you’re wondering what that’s about and how you can deal with it as easily as possible, then consider this your educational starting point! We’ll cover all of the basic must-know details below, including:

What is Vehicle Code 21710 VC?

Often, the best place to start with understanding something as essential as the code is with the legislation from which it comes! The California legislation lists a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation as referring to when: “the driver of a motor vehicle when traveling on downgrade upon any highway shall not coast with the gears of such vehicle in neutral.”

It sounds pretty straightforward, and it is! It just means that a driver is not allowed to shift their vehicle into neutral when they are on a highway and going down a hill or otherwise on a downgraded driving surface. The car must remain in driving gear.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 21710 CVC?

For some more clarity, let’s put a fictional California driver named Amy into a few situations to help us see just what this violation could actually look like in real life!

In our first example, Amy is driving along the highway and comes up on a slower-moving car as she reaches the top of a hill. She moves to the left lane to pass safely and puts her car into neutral to coast down the hill without burning gas since she knows the momentum of the hill’s downgrade will allow her to coast easily. She would be guilty of a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation because her car must remain in a driving gear on a downgrade.

In another example, Amy is driving along a road with a slight downgrade. Realizing she can conserve engine wear and gas, she shifts into neutral and simply coasts down the downgrade. Since there are no other cars around, she doesn’t believe that this is a safety risk. However, Amy is still guilty of a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation, as the offense still applies even if there are no other vehicles present at the time!

These examples are pretty straightforward, of course, and we can easily understand them. However, there are a few exceptions to know about when it comes to this citation, too.

The first one is if Amy was driving down a hill in neutral, but she was on private property (rather than public access road). The violation doesn’t apply in this case since she’s driving with permission on this privately owned property and not a public roadway.

The second exception is if Amy is driving and coasts in neutral but is not going down a hill or on a downgrade. Coasting on even ground is not the same as downhill, and the citation wouldn’t apply in this case.

What can I do about this violation?

When you receive your Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation citation in the mail, you’ll also have a court date listed on which you need to enter your plea in court. You also may see the option of attending traffic school if you are eligible. We’ll focus on that later on.

On your appointed court date, you’ll state whether you are innocent or guilty of the crime. If you know you are guilty, the best thing you can do is pay the fine for this infraction, which is $238, promptly. If you are innocent of the crime, however, you can choose to argue your case. It’s best to do this with the help of an experienced attorney, as they can support you in putting the case together.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

In many cases, the police officer issuing the citation can attach other similar Vehicle Code violations to the one that you are receiving. Some of the most common additional citations include:

  • Vehicle Code 22101 VC: This violation implies that you are making an illegal U-turn.
  • Vehicle Code 21801 VC: This violation implies that you don’t yield as directed when making a left turn.
  • Vehicle Code 38300 VC: This citation refers to disobeying a sign or instruction posted.

The court and police officer will determine which of these additional charges can be added to your current citation if applicable. These additional charges carry their own fines and punishment, which can mean a harsher punishment. In some situations, the court or police officer may use any or all of these related offenses to replace a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation. It simply depends on the situation surrounding the original ticket citation and what is most appropriate for an accurate charge.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

Some citations will offer you the option to attend traffic school as part of your punishment when receiving a traffic violation. If you attend an accredited traffic school, like MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, it can mean faster processing (such as not waiting for your court date) to get back to your normal life.

Typically, eligibility for traffic school includes committing the offense in a noncommercial vehicle, receiving a moving citation, and having 1 DMV point added to your record. In this case, a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation is eligible for traffic school even though there is no DMV point added to your record.

So, why attend traffic school if you don’t need to mask your DMV record point? There are many advantages to it, actually! Firstly, as mentioned, it helps you speed up your processing time. It also will help you to freshen up your driving skills. Let’s face it, we all tend to forget little things every once in a while, especially if we aren’t using all of the rules in our daily driving!

The other thing is that going to a modern driving school like ours is fun! You’ll refresh your skills using modern and entertaining techniques, which will help you better retain what you learn. This all means safer and better driving in the future, which is what we are all about. It’ll be so educational and entertaining that you won’t even remember why you didn’t want to come in the beginning!

If you have questions about our classes or programs or want more information on the Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation citation, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to help you out however we can! If you need specific information on your ticket, you can also reach out to the court that issued it.

How can I avoid a citation for a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation?

While it’s nice to know that you have options like traffic school to help speed up the processing time for a violation, it’s also a good idea to do whatever you can to avoid getting a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation citation in the first place, as well as in the future! There are some tips that you can follow below to help you out with just this.

Firstly, keep your car in gear when you are driving. It’s an overstatement, perhaps a strange one, but remember what this citation is for! As tempting as it is to put your car in neutral when going downhill, remember the penalties and consider whether you want to risk getting cited for it!

Secondly, take a moment to brush up on when you are allowed to coast in neutral on public roadways. As mentioned above, downhill coasting is prohibited, but this violation wouldn’t apply if you were on a level surface. If you are set on saving gas through neutral coasting, just ensure that you aren’t on a downgrade. Remember: receiving a Vehicle Code 21710 CVC violation implies that you are coasting in neutral on a downgraded slope or hill. If you aren’t in neutral but instead classically coasting in a driving gear, this citation won’t apply!



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