VC 21755 – Unsafe Passing on the Right

VC 21755 - Unsafe Passing on the Right

Unsafe Passing on the Right – Table of Contents

VC 21755 – Overview

What is the definition of unsafe passing on the right as defined under California Vehicle Code 21755?

No driver of any vehicle can speed past and go around another vehicle to enter the same lane as that vehicle subsequently past from the right side if there are not safe conditions for doing so. When attempting to speed past and go around another vehicle to enter the same lane, the vehicle in question cannot speed past and go around another by driving off the main traveled portion of the road where both cars are currently in motion.

VC 21755 – Prosecuting

What is the definition of a vehicle as described under California Vehicle Code 21755?

A vehicle is any device that enables a person or property to be moved or drawn on a highway. A vehicle is further defined as a device with a self-propelled motor or a device with a motor or mechanism that can convert its own energy supply into power used for propulsion. A vehicle also includes a motor home, travel trailer, truck camper, and camping trailer- all of which are designated for human habitation, recreational, emergency, or other occupancy.

What is not considered a vehicle as defined under California Vehicle Code 21755?

A motor vehicle or self-propelled vehicle does not include a propelled or motorized wheelchair, a motorized tricycle, or a motorized quadricycle if the device is operated by a person who utilizes it due to a physical disability and cannot move about as a pedestrian.

What is considered speeding as defined under California Vehicle Code 21755?

Speeding is a conclusion that must be attributed to engineer conclusions by design from patented machinery such as a radar gun. The California High Safety Patrol must approach all radar guns. All police officers or peace officers operating a radar gun must undergo 24 hours of POST training to acquire competency to utilize the radar gun. In terms of speeding or unsafe speeds, the officer must specify this determination in terms of speeding violations. The basic violation is a good measure; this is California Vehicle Code 22350. Under California Vehicle 22350, the following fines must be allotted if there is a valid determination or conclusion that the driver sped at the date and time alleged: (1) 1-15 MPH over the base speed limit of $238; (2) 16-25 MPH over the base speed limit $367; (3) 25+ MPH over the base speed limit $490.

How can I determine that an officer is operating a radar gun accurately to quantify my speed as a violation if being cited for a violation of California Vehicle Code 21755?

To assess the competency of a peace officer, assessment of a driver’s speed must be attained by course training. The California POST radar police certification course is required to be completed by all officers who operate a speed radar gun. The class is a 54-hour class with 24 classroom hours and 30 hours of field or onsite training. Then after graduation from the course, the peace officer must be certified in lidar enforcement in a subsequent 8 hour class. Lidar training is the training required for Light-Detection-and-Ranging; it is a measure to target a vehicle’s speed using light energy generated by a laser device.

How can I be assured that the radar gun or laser gun utilized by an officer when citing a violation of California Vehicle Code 21755 is functioning properly?

California Vehicle Code 40802(c)(1)(D) states that all radar and laser guns used to detect speeds, including any other electronic devices, which police officers operate to assess whether or not the speeds exceed the minimum standards of the National Traffic and Highway Safety Administrations, must be calibrated within the 3 years of any violation of California Vehicle Code 21755 by an approved State Calibration facility. Further, California Vehicle Codes 40802(c)(1)(D) and 40802(c)(1)(A) provide responsibilities to a citing peace officer: at the beginning and end of each shift, the officer should perform tests on their devices by running a self-check and verify that all portions of the LCD screen are functioning and the results are positive to ensure that the calibrations are correct. Again, these principals are required to be instructed to the citing police officer by the Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) under California Vehicle Code 40802(c)(1)(A).

Are there exceptions to a violation of California Vehicle Code 21755?

Yes- there are several exceptions: (1) Non-Excessive Speeds; (2) Necessity and or Mechanical Failure of a preceding vehicle which necessitated a maneuver; (3) A vehicle in question actually passed to the left and not right.

Is California Vehicle Code 21755 considered a moving violation?

Yes. California Vehicle Code 21755 is considered a moving violation and does qualify for a traffic safety school.

VC 21755 – Sentencing

What are the penalties for a violation of California Vehicle Code 21755?

A violation of California Vehicle Code 22755 is charged as an infraction or misdemeanor, and California Vehicle Code 22755 can be reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction as a wobblette. As an infraction, the violation can qualify for traffic safety school under mitigating circumstances to remove any moving violations from being maintained on your record. As a misdemeanor, the penalty of confinement will not exceed 6 months in county jail, with fines not exceeding $ 1000 dollars.

What are examples of violations of California Penal Code 21755?

  1. Omar is driving behind a slow-moving vehicle that is getting ready to turn left on a single-lane roadway with a 35 MPH speed limit. Omar does not want to wait for them to complete the turn, so he swerves onto the right shoulder to pass them and then pulls back onto the roadway when he has completed the turn. A nearby police officer uses a radar gun to capture Omar’s speed at 45 MPH, pulls over Omar, and issues a citation for an infraction.
  2. Janus is reaching a traffic light that is about to turn yellow, as he is the second car on the road behind another vehicle that has not yet stopped. Both cars are in the left lane. Janus does not want to miss the light, so Janus speeds up, swerves into the right lane, and passes the intersection causing oncoming cars to honk their horns, but enables Janus to cross the intersection when the light is red. A police officer was parked at a Mcdonald’s at one of the intersections, saw what Janus did, pursued him, and pulled him over to issue a citation for a misdemeanor.
  3. Jennifer is late to work because she had to drop off her husband at work since his car is getting serviced. She is in the left lane. While in the left lane, she approaches a slower-moving vehicle. There are no cross-sections or turns. Both cars are in the left lane, in a double-lane roadway, with both lanes approaching the same direction. Jennifer speeds past the slow-moving vehicle to pass the vehicle in the right lane, swerves back into the left lane, and gives the other driver “The Middle Finger.” At a nearby school, there was a parked Sheriff who saw the maneuver. The Sheriff pulls over Jennifer and issues her a citation for an infraction.

VC 21755 – Defending

What are examples of defenses to a violation of California Vehicle Code 21755?

  1. Legal Impossibility – the driver passed on the left, not the right side.
  2. Necessity to avoid a collision or prevent further vehicle mechanical failure.
  3. No speed was conclusively documented according to Highway and Traffic and Safety Administrative Standards or under accurate guidelines under the Commission of Police Officer Training.

VC 21755 – Hire a Lawyer

If you are charged with violating California Vehicle Code 21755, call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, APLC.

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June 4, 2018
Seppi had my case reduced to just an infraction, and thanks to him I was able to keep my job. Jorge was extremely helpful too, the reason I went with this law firm. Overall pleased.

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