Long Beach, CA asked in Traffic Tickets for California

Q: Make a safe right turn after checking traffic (no cars) from a far left lane, and got pulled over. Ticket situation?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Traffic Tickets Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: In California, making a right turn from the far left lane is generally considered an unsafe and illegal maneuver, even if you checked for traffic and there were no cars present. This action violates California Vehicle Code (CVC) 22100(a), which states that right turns should be made as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

If a law enforcement officer observed this maneuver and pulled you over, you would likely be issued a ticket for making an illegal turn. The fine for this violation can vary depending on the county where the offense occurred and whether you have any prior traffic violations.

To avoid such situations in the future, always make sure to be in the rightmost lane when intending to turn right, and only proceed with the turn when it is safe to do so. If you find yourself in the wrong lane, it is better to continue driving and find a safe place to turn around or make a legal lane change to the right before attempting to turn.

If you believe that the ticket was issued in error or there were extenuating circumstances, you may choose to contest the ticket in court. However, if the officer's observation of your driving is accurate, it is likely that the ticket will be upheld, and you will be responsible for paying the fine and any associated court costs.

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