Vehicle Code 21755 CVC - Unsafe Passing on the Right

If you’ve recently found a citation for a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation in your mailbox, now might be a good time to take a look at what it is, how you got it, and what you should know about it! Below, we’ll go over all of the basics. Topics covered include:

What is Vehicle Code 21755 CVC?

For the best clarity, you’ll want to start with California Legislation and its actual definition. They formally explain that a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation is when: “The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting that movement in safety. In no event shall that movement be made by driving off the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway”

Like some of the vehicle codes, this can be a little confusing! It basically means that you pass a vehicle on the right in a manner that is not illegal. In other words, you can only pass on the right legally under very certain circumstances.

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 21755 CVC?

That sounds pretty straightforward, but you also have to understand what that means in practical terms! So, let’s take a look at a few example situations in which our fictional California driver, Abel, can show us what a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation would look like, as well as what exceptions are possible.

In the first example, Abel is behind a slow-moving vehicle that is getting ready to turn left on a single-lane roadway. He doesn’t want to wait for them to complete the turn, so he swerves out onto the right shoulder to pass them and then pulls back onto the roadway when he has completed the turn. He’s guilty of a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation because he is not supposed to go onto the shoulder to pass a vehicle.

In the next example, Abel is coming up to a traffic light that suddenly turns yellow as he approaches it behind another vehicle. The car in front of him starts to slow down to stop, but Abel doesn’t want to miss the light. So, he changes to the right lane, speeds on by, and goes through the light at high speed. He could earn a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation because he passed at a fast speed, swerving to change lanes in time.

In a final example, Abel is trying to get to work because he is late. He stays in the left lane for the most part, but when he comes up on a slower vehicle, he serves into the right lane, speeds up to pass the car in the left lane, and then swerves back into the left lane again. He would be guilty of a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation because he is unsafely passing on the right at high speed, especially because he is doing this continuously on his drive. The right lane, of course, is reserved for slower-moving vehicles.

As you can imagine, there are a few exceptions to this particular violation. The most common one is that Abel would have passed safely on the right. For example, let’s say that he was driving in the left lane and came up on a slower-moving vehicle. Abel switched to the right lane, acrótera checking it was safe to do so, and then drove carefully past the driver in the left lane. Then he moved back into the left lane when it was safe to do so. He wouldn’t be guilty of a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation because he completed the lane changes and passed safely and carefully.

Another exception is that Abel had no choice but to pass quickly on the right. For example, Abel was driving a car that suddenly blew out a tire or otherwise stopped suddenly. To avoid a collision, Abel quickly changed lanes and coasted by the stopped car. This could also apply if there was a broken-down vehicle in the left lane and Abel changed lanes to get by it. In these situations, a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation wouldn’t apply because he had no choice but to pass on the right.

One last exception is that the peace officer issuing the citation made a mistake, and Abel didn’t pass on the right. Abel is allowed to pass (safely) on the left as long as there is a lane open to do so. If the pace officer misunderstood or misperceived Abel as being in the right lane when he was actually in the left lane, he would have received a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation in error and could choose to fight it in court.

What can I do about this violation?

If you receive this violation, it’s considered an infraction. This is less severe than a misdemeanor or a felony, but it still carries a substantial punishment that you’ll want to know about.  

This ticket carries a fine of $237 and is going to also add one point to a driver’s DMV record. This will show up to your insurance agent, on a check of your DMV record by peace officers, and more.  

If you receive this Vehicle Code 21755 CVC citation notice, you may have the possibility of attending traffic school, which will help you to mask the DMV point. However, you will still need to enter your plea and pay your fine to the court.

If you are knowingly guilty of a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation, the best thing that you can do is enter your plea as such and not waste any time fighting a charge that you know you deserve. This can get you in more trouble than you want and even increase your fee amount!

That being said, you can fight your traffic ticket in court if you believe you are innocent and qualify for one of the exemptions explained above. We do recommend having an experienced traffic court attorney at your side, as they can represent you in court instead of you having to go, and they know how to argue your case for the best chance at a possible outcome.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

There are a lot of vehicle code violations in the legislature, and there are some that are often charged together. When it comes to receiving a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation, you can expect quite a few options for similarities. These include:

  • Vehicle Code 21658 CVC: This citation is for when a driver chooses to straddle or pass over the line markers rather than driving firmly between them. 
  • Vehicle Code 21654 CVC: This is a violation specifically for slow drivers that choose to drive in any lane that isn’t the right-most lane. This doesn’t include left-turning lanes.
  • Vehicle Code 21650 CVC: This is a citation that dictates that drivers must drive on the right side of the road.

When you receive your Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation citation in the mail, you can see any of these added to the main citation that you’ve received. It’s up to the discretion of the peace officer who wrote up your violation and the situation that surrounded it. The court can also add any or all of these to your file in court, too. Any or all of these can also be used in place of your Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation if the powers that be decide that these other citations are more accurate.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

Some tickets will offer you the option of attending traffic school in order to mask the ticket from your DMV record. As mentioned above, your eligibility should be noted on your notice.  

In most cases, you’ll be happy to learn that, yes, a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation is eligible for traffic school! This is because it is a moving citation, and attending a traffic school can help you retrain your driving skills to be a safer driver. You must not have attended traffic school in the last 18 months, or committed the crime in a commercial vehicle, to be eligible.  

If you do have the possibility of attending a traffic school, you should seriously consider it. There are many benefits to attending an accredited, modern traffic school. The biggest one that most students notice is that they can see just how much more enjoyable traffic school is when it’s taught by teachers that love what they do.  

Since classic driver’s education is focused on helping you simply learn the material, it focuses on different aspects. MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL teaches uses techniques and approaches to traffic education that actually make for better drivers in the long run. Our classes use memorable examples, interactive lessons, and humor to help teach. This enables each driver to attend class and actually learn the lessons that they’re supposed to.

Another main advantage of attending a driving school is that you’ll be able to mask the DMV point on your record when you complete the course. This can show up if you were to have someone look up your record, such as your insurance agent. This will increase your premiums, so masking the point is a huge advantage to consider.

If you’re curious about other benefits of traffic school, please contact us, and we’ll be happy to fill you in. We also encourage you to contact us if you have questions about your Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation and what it means. Alternatively, you can contact the court that issued the ticket for a more personalized approach to your case!

How can I avoid a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation?

Since there is a lot of hassle in fighting a traffic citation ticket or even in making time in our schedules to attend traffic school, the best thing that you can do is avoid receiving a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation in the first place, right? If you want to do just that, then here are some tips to help you keep yourself citation-free when on the road.

The first thing that you can do is focus on always passing on the left whenever you have the option of doing so. Even if it means coming up on a slower-moving vehicle in the left lane, consider waiting for them to speed up rather than passing on the right. If you must pass on the right, do so carefully and as slowly as you can to complete the pass. Then stay in the right lane until you must go into the left lane again to pass another car. The goal is to always make your lane changes intentional and safe, after all.

Another detail to remember is that you are only allowed to pass on the right when you can stay on the main roadway. If you must go onto the shoulder to pass on the right, it’s unsafe and illegal to do so since the shoulder is for breakdowns and emergency vehicles. When you come up on a vehicle turning left, and you want to pass on their right by going onto the shoulder, resist the urge! Wait until the vehicle completes the turn. Are a few extra seconds of time really worth a fine of over $200 and taking the time to attend court and possibly traffic school?  

Always remember the idea that passing on the right should always be a last resort when you feel that you have no other choice. The ticket and frustration of dealing with it in traffic court are. Very rarely worth the extra time or stress that you are safe on the road, after all. Keep in mind: a Vehicle Code 21755 CVC violation is only for when you pass unsafely on the right. If you are acting out of necessity, the citation doesn’t apply!



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