Vehicle Code 21460 VC - Crossing Double Yellow Lines
Vehicle Code 21460 is the statute in California that makes it a crime for a motorist to cross double yellow parallel lines on roadways. These lines are the double parallel solid yellow or white lines and double parallel lines, one of which is broken.
This law defines the rules and regulations for crossing double yellow lines on roads and highways. It applies to solid and broken double lines, and knowing the law can help ensure safer driving habits in California.
Following the rules on double lines is often a crucial part of road safety because it ensures proper lane discipline that can reduce the risk of accidents caused by sudden and unpredictable lane changes. You can avoid steep penalties and fines if you comply with state regulations on crossing double yellow roadway lines.
There are exceptions to this law, such as turning left at an intersection, turning out of a driveway or private road, or making a U-turn.
VC 21460 says, “(a) If double parallel solid yellow lines are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of the lines, except as permitted in this section.
(b) If double parallel solid white lines are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not cross any part of those double solid white lines except as permitted in this section or Section 21655.8.
(c) If the double parallel lines, one of which is broken, are in place, a person driving a vehicle shall not drive to the left of the lines except as follows:
(1) If the driver is on the side of the roadway in which the broken line is in place, the driver may cross over the double lines or drive to the left of the double lines when overtaking or passing other vehicles.
(2) As provided in Section 21460.5.
(d) The markings as specified in subdivision (a), (b), or (c) do not prohibit a driver from crossing the marking if (1) turning to the left at an intersection or into or out of a driveway or private road, or (2) making a U-turn under the rules governing that turn, and the markings shall be disregarded when authorized signs have been erected designating off-center traffic lanes as permitted under Section 21657.
(e) Raised pavement markers may be used to simulate painted lines described in this section if the markers are placed in accordance with standards established by the Department of Transportation.”
What is Crossing Double Parallel Lines?
Vehicle Code 21460 VC says motorists can't drive to the left of double parallel solid yellow or white lines, or double parallel lines, of which one is broken unless they pass another car. Double lines are classified as follows:
- Solid double lines are continuous and cannot be crossed except under certain circumstances, such as avoiding an obstruction.
- Broken double lines are next to a solid line. Crossing them is only allowed when the broken line is on the driver's side of the road, for passing, and only if the lane left of the solid line is clear of oncoming traffic.
What Are the Exceptions to the Rule?
VC 21460 has certain exceptions that allow drivers to cross double yellow lines in California under the following circumstances:
- Turning left at an intersection;
- Turning into a private driveway;
- Making a U-turn if it's not prohibited;
- Passing a slower-moving vehicle or bicycle when it is safe and the broken yellow line is on the driver's side.
What Are the VC 21460 Penalties?
Suppose you were cited for violating VC 21460, crossing double yellow lines. In that case, it's an infraction that carries the following penalties:
- A $234 fine;
- One point added to your DMV record;
Suppose you accumulate too many points within a specified time frame. If you receive a certain number of points in a given period, such as four points in 12 months, six points in 24 months, or eight points in 36 months, you could be classified by the DMV as a "negligent operator" and face suspension of your license.
If you ignore the ticket, fail to pay it, or contest it in court, you could face additional fines, a license suspension, and even criminal charges for failing to appear. Further, getting a moving violation ticket could lead to increased insurance premiums.
A related law includes signaling before turning or changing lanes, defined under California Vehicle Code 22108 VC, which requires drivers to signal 100 feet before turning or changing lanes. This law carries a fine of $238 and one point assessed to your DMV driving record.
What Are the Defenses?
Suppose you disagree with the citation and want to contest it. As discussed below, some common defenses to alleged VC 21460 violations exist.
Maybe we can argue that there was a necessity. Perhaps crossing double yellow lines was necessary to avoid an immediate danger or hazard, such as a stopped vehicle or debris on the road. In other words, crossing the double yellow was to protect yourself or other people.
Maybe we can argue there was a mistake of fact. Perhaps you believed crossing the double yellow lines in your situation was legal.
Maybe we can argue that there was a lack of clear signage. Perhaps the double yellow lines were worn, faded, obscured, or not clearly visible. Maybe we can say you were unaware of the traffic restrictions.
Maybe we can argue that there is insufficient Evidence. Perhaps we can challenge the accuracy of the police officer's observations or dispute the legitimacy of any photos or videos presented as evidence. You can contact our law firm for a free case review. Cron, Israels & Stark has offices in Los Angeles, California.