Vehicle Code 21800 - Failure to Yield

No one wants to open their mailbox to discover that they’ve received a traffic citation, but it can happen. If you’ve had it happen and you’re now looking at a citation notice for a Vehicle Code 21800 violation, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with everything you can learn about it. Here are the essential details!

What is Vehicle Code 21800?

What you’ll discover is that Vehicle Code 21800 is actually going to stretch from 21800 to 21804 since it covers a few different scenarios, all relating to failure to yield. These include:

  • Vehicle Code 21800a: Failing to yield to other drivers already in the intersection when reaching it.
  • Vehicle Code 21800b: Failing to yield to the driver on the right if you and another vehicle enter the intersection at the same time.
  • Vehicle Code 21800c: Failing to yield to the driver on the right if you enter an intersection controlled by a stop sign at the same time.
  • Vehicle Code 21800d (1): Failing to stop when entering an intersection when the traffic lights aren’t working.
  • Vehicle Code 21800d (2): Failing to yield to the driver on the right if the traffic lights aren’t working and to cars stop at the intersection at the same time.
  • Vehicle Code 21801: Failing to yield to oncoming traffic if you are turning left or completing a u-turn.
  • Vehicle Code 21802: Failing to yield to other drivers at an intersection with a stop sign if those other drivers are already at/in that intersection.
  • Vehicle Code 21803: Failing to yield to other drivers at an intersection controlled by a yield sign when other drivers at that intersection are already in motion.
  • Vehicle Code 21804: Failing to yield to traffic on the highway when you are entering a highway at a yield sign.

There are other vehicle code violations relating to failure to yield, but these are the ones under the Vehicle Code 21800 umbrella!

What does it mean to have violated Vehicle Code 21800?

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with all of the sheer possibilities listed above, let’s take a few moments to go through them one by one and understand them in detail! To help us keep it all straight, we’ve got our fictional driver, Brit, to help us out!

Brit is driving along a roadway and comes up at an intersection. Because she is late to work, she decides to go right on through the intersection without yielding to the other traffic in the intersection itself. She’s guilty of a Vehicle Code 21800 violation because she must yield to the traffic already in, or using, the intersection.

In another example, Brit enters the intersection at the same time as a driver on her right. Instead of yielding to them, as she’s required to, she decides to go ahead and complete her turn. Not yielding to that driver on her right would make her guilty of a Vehicle Code 21800 violation. This would also be the case if she entered an intersection that is controlled by stop signs, with Brit needing to yield to the driver on her right that reaches it at the same time.

This is also almost identical to if she stopped at an intersection that was controlled by lights — she’d need to yield to the drivers that are completing their turns and oncoming as directed by the lights.

Now, Brit approaches an intersection where the power is out, and the lights are not working. She is required to stop and yield to the driver on the right if two approach at the same time. If she doesn’t stop and doesn’t yield to a driver on her right that also stops at the same time, she’s guilty of a Vehicle Code 21800 violation in two different sections.

Let’s say that Brit is driving to work and realizes that she forgot her lunch. She stops at an intersection with the intention of pulling a U-turn. Instead of yielding to the oncoming traffic and/or other traffic in the intersection, she simply completes the u-turn and fore’s them to make room for her to do so.

Lastly, Brit is merging onto a highway, and she is supposed to yield to the traffic already approaching on the highway itself. She decides not to do this and simply merges on. She’d be guilty of a Vehicle Code 21800 violation in this case because she doesn’t yield to them.

There are a few exceptions to any and all of these kinds of situations. The most common one is that Brit does yield to the other drivers, but the peace officer makes a mistake thinking that she doesn’t. Or, she is allowed to proceed through a stop sign first without yielding to the vehicle on her right because she stops before the other car does.

The last kind of an exception to a Vehicle Code 21800 violation is that she wasn’t able to yield for one reason or another. For example, she hit an oil slick, and it pushed her into the intersection accidentally. Or her brakes failed.

These kinds of exceptions do happen in courts, but you’ll need to have proof of it. This is where an experienced attorney is going to help you be able to offer the most help!

What can I do about this violation?

If you receive this violation, you’ll be assigned a court date on your citation, and you’ll need to appear in court on that date to plead innocent or guilty. You also may notice on the citation that you have the option to attend traffic school. We’ll talk about this a bit more later on.

The penalty for a Vehicle Code 21800 violation is a fine of $238 plus court fees and an addition of 1 DMV point to the driver’s record. If you are knowingly guilty of this offense, you should plead as such, pay your fine, and accept the punishment.

If you qualify for one of the exceptions, however, or you feel as though you are innocent of the citation entirely, you can choose to plead innocent and argue your case. For your best effect, however, we recommend that you have the support of an experienced traffic attorney. They’ll design the best argument for a verdict in your favor and can even represent you in court so that you don’t have to attend yourself.

Other possible Vehicle Code violation connections

In many situations, there are other violations that are closely related to any of the ones discussed above under the Vehicle Code 21800 violation. Some of the most common ones commonly attached to this citation include:

  • Vehicle Code 21651: This citation refers to driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Vehicle Codes 21750-21759: These citations refer to improper passing or overtaking on roadways.
  • Vehicle Code 22350: This is the basic speeding law, and violating it means that you are driving too fast according to the posted limit or other drivers.

Depending on how and why your citation was issued, any or all of these other citations can be added to your Vehicle Code 21800 citation. This can happen at the time of receiving the citation or in court if the officials decide to do so. In some cases, any or all of these may be used in place of the original Vehicle Code 21800 violation. Since all of these carry their own punishments and fines, this can make the court date a lot more severe.

Is this ticket eligible for traffic school?

If you received just the Vehicle Code 21800 violation, as we’ve been discussing above, then you may have noticed that your citation notice included the option of attending traffic school. If you committed the offense in a personal vehicle and did not attend traffic school in the last 18 months, you’ll be happy to learn that, yes, a Vehicle Code 21800 violation is eligible for traffic school!

To get the credit, you’ll need to attend an accredited traffic school, such as MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL. Because Vehicle Code 21800 is a moving citation, traffic school attendance is offered because learning new skills and lessons about safe driving can help you make your driving safer for the future. This is why only certain vehicle codes are eligible.

Most people tend to overlook the option of attending traffic school, but it can actually be a really great choice. Firstly, it speeds up the entire process. You can agree to attend traffic school, pay your fine, and then simply get started on retraining your skills. This is helpful for those with complicated schedules.  

Another perk to traffic school is that it’s going to help you brush up on your overall driving skills. Since most of us tend to forget a few things now and again, this can be generally helpful for keeping up to date on driving techniques and skills.  

When you attend a modern traffic school like MM TRAFFIC SCHOOL, you’ll also discover that attending a traffic school doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It can be fun and lighthearted, and even enjoyable as far as the overall educational experience! That’s the beauty of trusting the right place for your traffic-focused education!

Lastly, another perk to considering traffic school is that it will mask that DMV point that would otherwise be added to your driving record. These points stay on a driver’s record for years, and they can impact your insurance premiums, amongst other things. It’s always a good idea to do whatever you can to avoid those building up!

Curious what other benefits are waiting for you?  Need more information on your Vehicle code 21800 information?  Please contact us, we’ll be happy to help!  If you need a personalized approach to your ticket, you can also contact the court that issued it!

How can I avoid a Vehicle Code 21800 violation?

As you already know, the best defense against a traffic violation is to avoid it in the first place! When it comes to the Vehicle Code 21800 violation, in particular, you’ll want to really focus on the idea of yielding as essential.

Realistically speaking, many do take the direction to yield more as a suggestion rather than a law. They just see that if they can make it through the turn or intersection “good enough,” they’ll just do it. However, it is against the law if you fail to yield. Yielding still means that you must let the other traffic go before you do!

As far as tips to help you, always remember that the most important thing is going to remember that it is, in fact, law and not a suggestion. If you are going to change it and fail to yield, is it really going to be worth the ticket and the frustration of having a DMV point added to your record or attending traffic school unnecessarily?

Another thing is that you should approach each of these yield signs/laws with the assumption that you’ll have to stop and yield. While this won’t always be the case, of course, if you approach an intersection with this in mind, it’s always going to be a pleasant surprise when you don’t need to. Plus, it means that you always did yield, even if it was unnecessary.

For many reasons, drivers find yielding frustrating and feel like they are “inferior” drivers because they’re letting others go first, but it’s a sign of defensive driving and professionalism. Reframing it in this way helps you to always keep in mind your role of being a safe driver for yourself and the other drivers out there who perhaps aren’t always as careful.

Yielding is a sign of strength, not a sign of weakness or laziness. You’ll also be a lot stronger and safer as a driver if you keep this in mind. Remember: you are only guilty of a Vehicle Code 21800 violation if you are deliberately failing to yield. If you have yielded, or you aren’t able to yield, then the citation wouldn’t apply!



San Diego Ticket Fighter