VC 22400 (a) – Impeding Traffic
I’m willing to bet you are an Uber or Lyft driver if you have been cited for a violation of California Vehicle Code Section 22400(a). If not, give me a break, it’s a new world…
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic – This section of the vehicle code prohibits a vehicle from slowing or stopping on roadway as to the impede the normal flow of traffic. Most commonly, this is when a driver stops to pick up or drop off a passenger while at least partially blocking traffic. It is not necessary that you actually impede another vehicle, simply that you stopped in a place that could disrupt the normal flow. However, as with all traffic infractions, it is judgement call as to whether the officer is going to cite you, and if you do actually stop traffic, it is far more likely that you will be cited.
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic – Old School
Before Lyft and Uber was common, the old-school, most common citation for VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic was for a new, overly-cautious driver, an out-of-state driver in a rental car overwhelmed with our complex freeways, or a local driver simply not paying attention to positioning their car for an upcoming off ramp or multi-lane transition to connecting freeways.
Ass Clowns Who Fail to Plan for the Correct Lane
No one likes an Ass Clown. Other drivers, cops, no one! Let’s face it. We’ve all been an Ass Clowns from time to time. Think Back…
You were going to a baseball game, a hockey game, an evening concert, or the Orange County Fair: some BUSY venue. You headed to the new FivePoint Amphitheater for a concert in Irvine where you didn’t plan ahead to be in the very busy right lane so you could exit at tIrvine Blvd. If you were taking your driver’s test, you’d reluctantly have to pass by. Not a concert-goer? You are headed to Angel Statium or The Honda Center just off the 57 Freeway where you need to exit at Katella or Orangewood. You failed to realize that the smart drivers are those who KNEW to expect heavy venue traffic and they are already in the very, very slow far right lane that is backed-up a full two miles!
NOW you must decide to pass by, and all that entails, or slow way down to see if some compassionate driver will allow you to squeeze in. Unfortunately, the majority of drivers who have been patiently waiting in the right lane see you as “the entitled Ass Clown” coming up in their side-view mirror trying to take advantage and “cut in line”. No one will make eye contact, but everyone WILL get right up on the bumper of the car in front just to make sure you cannot squeeze in. You know the drill. So do I. We are all guilty from time to time.
So you continue to creep slowly, in an otherwise OPEN LANE with cars behind you having to change lanes to dodge you. You are looking for a driver that isn’t aware of you sneaking up, awaiting for that 40-foot opening to appear. Normally you’re a courteous driver. Today, everyone sees you as an Ass Clown — as does the CHP officer who can’t find “VC – Ass Clown” in his vehicle code book, so instead, he will cite you for VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic.
Multi-Lane Freeway Transitions – VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic is also used by traffic officers for those who are NOT paying attention, not planning your drive and waiting to the very last moment to attempt to get in the correct transition lane for a freeway transition lane. Some drivers slow way down (or even come to a full stop) to await an opening to make the last minute merge. Your last minute effort to save your transition causes a dangerous environment for other drivers who are behind you IN YOUR LANE traveling at deadly freeway speeds. CHP officers can cite you for VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic.
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic Fines – If you have no prior convictions on your record, the fine for a violation of VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic has a base fine of $35. That doesn’t sound too bad at first, but actually with all the mandatory penalty assessments and fees that are added on, the fine actually comes out to $238. (link to blog). If you have additional moving convictions in the three years preceding, the fine will increase by approximately $50 for each prior.
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic Points –In addition, VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic is considered a moving violation and a point will added to your driving record following a conviction. If you have an out of state license, chances are high that a conviction in CA will affect your driving record in your home state.
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic and Traffic School –If you have not attended traffic school in the previous 18 months, and are not a commercial driver in a commercial vehicle, you should be able to attend traffic school. To attend traffic school, you must pay the fine, plus an additional $54 to the court for the privilege of attending traffic, plus the cost of the school itself. You will need to request permission from the court before attending traffic school. More information about traffic school can be found here. (link to blog)
VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic – Yes! You can Fight That Ticket – Tickets for VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic in Orange County can be fought, and won. Even if your case isn’t dismissed fully, it may be possible to have the citation amended to a non-moving offense, which would mean no point on your license, even if you are not eligible for traffic school.
Get HELP Fighting a VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic Ticket
Did you receive a VC 22400 (a) Impeding Traffic ticket in Orange County? If so, Orange County Traffic Ticket Attorney Scott Ball can defend your traffic ticket for you in court. Please use the Case Evaluation form HERE for a fast call back or email reply form attorney Ball. If you want to call, you are always welcome! 714-547-7500.
Were You Driving Too Slowly in the Left Lane?
There is an dedicated VC Violation for slow pokes driving in the LEFT LANE – (VC 21654 – Driving Too Slowly in the Left Lane) makes it illegal to drive in any lane except for the far right lane if you are traveling at “less than the normal speed of traffic.” If you are driving in the left lane you must drive with the speed of traffic – sometimes even if the speed of traffic is above the posted limit.