VC 21806 – Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

VC 21806 - Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle

Failure to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle – Table of Contents

VC 21806 – Overview

What is the definition of failure to yield to an emergency vehicle as defined under California Vehicle Code 21806?

Any driver that is within the encroachment of an authorized emergency vehicle, which has the present ability to observe the emergency vehicle activating its siren, and or exhibit at least one lighted lamp or red light which, under reasonable conditions of an emergency, at least from a distance of 1,000 feet from the emergency vehicle must:

  • yield to the right-of-way of the emergency vehicle; or
  • DO THE SAME, by reasonable safety, find the nearest exit of an HOV, carpool, or preferential use lane if the driver cannot do so immediately; or
  • if not possible to yield to the right of way, stop and allow the emergency vehicle to pass; or
  • if not a driver but a pedestrian on the highway or roadway, proceed to the nearest curb or place of safety and remain to allow the emergency vehicle to pass.

VC 21806 – Prosecuting

What is the definition of an emergency vehicle as defined under California Vehicle Code 21806?

An emergency vehicle that is licensed by any recognized Indian tribe, the Federal Government, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commission of the California Highway Patrol, or the State of California Office of Emergency Services to respond to emergency calls; which is authorized by any organization to provide onsite health and emergency services to others, mitigate fires, provide tow or services on public highways, bridges or roadways, or under the authorization of responsibility of the following state organizations that employ peace officer who receive certification and training by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) such as Emergency personnel include police officers, firefighters, lifeguard, EMTs, military, and other frontline workers commissioned by FEMA.

What is the definition of a vehicle as described under California Vehicle Code 21806?

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 motive power used for propulsion. A vehicle, by definition, also includes a motor home, a travel trailer, a truck camper, and a camping trailer- all of which are designated for human habitation, recreational, emergency, or other occupancy.

What is the definition of the right of way as described under California Vehicle Code 21806?

A right of way is known as a privilege to the immediate use of the highway or roadway that is under the commissioned authority of the California Highway Patrol. The right of way is also termed to describe by law the necessity of a driver to yield to the right of another driver to go first when the law permits. The following California Vehicle Codes describe the necessity to yield to the right of another driver to go first: Intersection Right of Way, California Vehicle Code 21800; Left Turn Right of Way, California Vehicle Code 21801; Approaching Entrance of an Intersection, California Vehicle Code 21802; Intersection Controlled by Right of Way Sign, California Vehicle Code 21803; Entry onto Highway, California Vehicle Code 21804; Equestrian Crossing, California Vehicle Code 21805; Emergency Vehicles, California Vehicle Code 21806.

VC 21806 – Sentencing

What are the penalties for a violation of California Vehicle Code 21806?

A violation of California Vehicle Code 21806 is charged as an infraction or misdemeanor. California Vehicle Code 21806 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. A misdemeanor penalty of confinement will not exceed 6 months in county jail, with fines not exceeding $ 1000 dollars.

What about personal injury and property damage claims and other insurance issues associated with a vehicle accident associated with California Vehicle 21806 are their exceptions to be noted?

Yes – Proposition 213 limits the right of uninsured motorists, intoxicated drivers both fault and not at fault, and felons to sue and recover non-economic damages- even if they are not at fault.

Specifically – Proposition 213, codified in California Civil Codes 3333.3 and 3333.4, restricts jury awards for non-economic damages for claimants of injuries received in automobile accidents, their drivers, and or passengers in three primary occurrences. Non-economic damages are barred when:

  • The driver, passenger, or owner has been convicted of a DUI; or when
  • The driver or owner did not have the state minimum liability insurance at the time of the accident; or
  • When the injury sustained is by a convicted felon, whether it be the driver, the owner, or passenger, whose injuries were proximately acquired during the commission of a felony or immediate flight from a felon completed- even if far removed.

What are exceptions to a violation of California Vehicle Code 21806?

Yes- the vehicle must be currently licensed by any recognized Indian tribe, the Federal Government, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commission of the California Highway Patrol, or the State of California Office of Emergency Services to respond to emergency calls.

What is the definition of an emergency under California Vehicle Code 21806?

An emergency is a condition or situation that procures substantial injury to a person or property or places a reasonable person in fear of their safety. Examples of emergencies include: a fire, an explosion, an airplane crash, a flood, a windstorm, a railroad crash, a traffic accident, a powerplant accident, a toxic chemical spill, or criminal acts.

What are the penalties for a violation of California Penal Code 21806?

A violation of California Vehicle Code 21806 is charged as an infraction or misdemeanor, and California Vehicle Code 21806 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 a violation of California Vehicle Code 21806?

  1. Ulla and Vep were driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway, passing by Pebble Beach, California. On the way to Pebble Beach, they saw an area of lights flickering. As they drove close, they saw several FEMA trucks and CHP personnel carrying people from a multiple-car collision on the road to life stretchers toward several helicopters. Vep, at a slow pace while driving, allowed his wife Ulla to look at the activity and take photos with her camera phone. A CHP officer on the scene motioned for Vep to move out of the way and yelled and waved at him to motion the same. Vep did not acknowledge the request. A FEMA personnel got in her car and flashed the vehicle’s lights to get Vep to move his vehicle, which did not work. Vep was subsequently pulled over by a sheriff and was promptly arrested.
  2. Jim was a freelance journalist and video camera enthusiast who loved to sell the footage to the local news agencies prior to broadcast. The hours were brutal, but he earned a good living doing it. His business relationships were established enough that they trusted his work product. Unfortunately, Jim was in work traffic, and he would get home in two hours at this pace. Out of nowhere, two passengers got out of their cars and started bashing each other with crowbars out of road rage. Jim was not shy. He took his journalist equipment out and started filming the incident. A police officer saw the incident, turned on his flashed lights, and attempted to reach the combatants but could not maneuver because of Jim’s car. The officer got out of his car, detained Jim, and later arrested the road ragers.

VC 21806 – Defending

What are the defenses to a violation of California Vehicle Code 21806 PC?

  1. The accused was an immediate family member of a hurt victim as defined in 3 degrees of separation on the table of consanguinity and was providing assistance in the midst of an emergency.
  2. The accused was aiding emergency personnel as a deputized citizen or by nature of the request.
  3. The accused provided necessary self-defense or emergency aid to a defenseless victim.
  4. The emergency personnel were not operating a vehicle that was licensed and or recognized by an Indian tribe, the Federal Government, the Department of Homeland Security, the Commission of the California Highway Patrol, or the State of California Office of Emergency Services to respond to emergency calls.

VC 21806 – Hire a Lawyer

If you are charged with violating California Vehicle Code 21806, call The Esfandi Law Group, APLC. Contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Seppi Esfandi, principal attorney of The Esfandi Law Group, APLC.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 310-274-6529

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