There are multiple sections of the California Vehicle Code related to making illegal turns. Conviction for any one of these violations will result in one point being assessed to your driving record.
Turns Prohibited by Marked Signs or Lanes
- Section 22100 -- A driver must stay as close as practicable to the right or left hand edge of the roadway when making a turn. An example of a violation of this section would be a driver that makes a left hand turn from the second lane from the left (rather than the left lane or a specified turning lane). Conditions at the time may be taken into consideration. For example, a driver making a right hand turn may be somewhat further away from the curb than he otherwise would have been because he was allowing a bicyclist plenty of room to proceed. It would not have been practicable for the driver to be any closer to the right hand edge of the road and, therefore, he should not be cited for a turning violation in this instance.
- Section 22101 -- A driver must not make a turn if that specific turn is prohibited by a sign or marked lane. An example of a violation of this section would be a driver who makes a U-turn when there is a "no U-turn" sign posted. On the other hand, if there is a "no U-turn" sign but it is obscured or not visible to the driver then a ticket should not be given because the driver never had notice that U-turns were prohibited.
- Section 22102 -- A driver may not make a U-turn in a business district, except at an intersection, or on a divided highway where an opening has been provided. Otherwise, you can make a U-turn in either of these situations unless there is a sign which prohibits it. A business district is a location where over half of the property fronting the street is "in use for business" along 300 feet of the roadway, or 600 feet if the businesses are located only on one side of the street. If business are present in less than either of these amounts then a driver cannot be properly cited for making an illegal U-turn in a business district.
- Section 22103 -- A driver may not make a U-turn in a residential district when any other vehicle is approaching from either direction within 200 feet, except at an intersection where the approaching vehicle has a stop sign or traffic signal. A defense to this charge would be if a driver made a U-turn but there was not another vehicle within 200 feet.
Unsafe Turns and Lane Changes
- Section 22106 -- A driver shall not back a vehicle on a roadway unless it can be done with reasonable safety. This violation is rarely cited by law enforcement officers and is usually reserved for situations where a driver who went in reverse caused an accident.
- Section 22107 -- A driver shall not turn a vehicle or change lanes until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after giving an appropriate signal. This violation is commonly referred to as an "unsafe lane change." A traffic ticket for this violation is often issued when a driver changes lanes and cuts off another driver, causing them to slam on the brakes or abruptly change lanes to avoid a collision.
Failing to Signal
Sections 22108, 22109, 22110 -- These Vehicle Code sections collectively set forth the requirements that a driver use a signal prior to making a turn. A driver must signal an intention to turn right or left at least 100 feet prior to turning. The signal must be continuous. This includes both changing lanes and turning. The driver can use either the vehicle's electrical turn signal or a hand signal. One important element is that there must be another vehicle nearby that may have been affected by the turning or changing lanes. If there is not another vehicle in sight, e.g. that may be affected by the turn or lane change, a driver should not be cited for failing to signal.
Los Angeles Traffic Ticket Attorney
All of these violations carry one point on your driving record if convicted. If you have been cited for any of these improper turning violations it is best to CONTACT a Los Angeles Traffic Ticket Attorney to discuss your options.