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Pertinent California Vehicle Code Sections

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Pertinent California Vehicle Code Sections2021-03-19T16:29:07-07:00

PERTINENT CALIFORNIA VEHICLE CODE SECTIONS
(AS OF 2020)

DEFINITIONS

235.  A “business district” is that portion of a highway and the property contiguous thereto (a) upon one side of which highway, for a distance of 600 feet, 50 percent or more of the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by buildings in use for business, or (b) upon both sides of which highway, collectively, for a distance of 300 feet, 50 percent or more of the contiguous property fronting thereon is so occupied. A business district may be longer than the distances specified in this section if the above ratio of buildings in use for business to the length of the highway exists.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

240.  In determining whether a highway is within a business or residence district, the following limitations shall apply and shall qualify the definitions in Sections 235 and 515:

(a) No building shall be regarded unless its entrance faces the highway and the front of the building is within 75 feet of the roadway.

(b) Where a highway is physically divided into two or more roadways only those buildings facing each roadway separately shall be regarded for the purpose of determining whether the roadway is within a district.

(c) All churches, apartments, hotels, multiple dwelling houses, clubs, and public buildings, other than schools, shall be deemed to be business structures.

(d) A highway or portion of a highway shall not be deemed to be within a district regardless of the number of buildings upon the contiguous property if there is no right of access to the highway by vehicles from the contiguous property.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

360.  “Highway” is a way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. Highway includes street.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

515.  A “residence district” is that portion of a highway and the property contiguous thereto, other than a business district, (a) upon one side of which highway, within a distance of a quarter of a mile, the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by 13 or more separate dwelling houses or business structures, or (b) upon both sides of which highway, collectively, within a distance of a quarter of a mile, the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by 16 or more separate dwelling houses or business structures. A residence district may be longer than one-quarter of a mile if the above ratio of separate dwelling houses or business structures to the length of the highway exists.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

627.  (a) “Engineering and traffic survey,” as used in this code, means a survey of highway and traffic conditions in accordance with methods determined by the Department of Transportation for use by state and local authorities.

(b) An engineering and traffic survey shall include, among other requirements deemed necessary by the department, consideration of all of the following:

(1) Prevailing speeds as determined by traffic engineering measurements.

(2) Accident records.

(3) Highway, traffic, and roadside conditions not readily apparent to the driver.

(c) When conducting an engineering and traffic survey, local authorities, in addition to the factors set forth in paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, of subdivision (b) may consider all of the following:

(1) Residential density, if any of the following conditions exist on the particular portion of highway and the property contiguous thereto, other than a business district:

(A) Upon one side of the highway, within a distance of a quarter of a mile, the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by 13 or more separate dwelling houses or business structures.

(B) Upon both sides of the highway, collectively, within a distance of a quarter of a mile, the contiguous property fronting thereon is occupied by 16 or more separate dwelling houses or business structures.

(C) The portion of highway is longer than one-quarter of a mile but has the ratio of separate dwelling houses or business structures to the length of the highway described in either subparagraph (A) or (B).

(2) Pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

(Amended by Stats. 2000, Ch. 45, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2001.)

ESTABLISHING SPEED ZONES

22349.  (a) Except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:

(1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.

(2) Passing lanes may not be considered when determining the number of through lanes.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that there be reasonable signing on affected two-lane, undivided highways described in subdivision (b) in continuing the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, including placing signs at county boundaries to the extent possible, and at other appropriate locations.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 724, Sec. 41. Effective January 1, 2000.)

22350.  No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 252.)

22352.  The prima facie limits are as follows and shall be applicable unless changed as authorized in this code and, if so changed, only when signs have been erected giving notice thereof:

(a) Fifteen miles per hour:

(1) When traversing a railway grade crossing, if during the last 100 feet of the approach to the crossing the driver does not have a clear and unobstructed view of the crossing and of any traffic on the railway for a distance of 400 feet in both directions along the railway. This subdivision does not apply in the case of any railway grade crossing where a human flagman is on duty or a clearly visible electrical or mechanical railway crossing signal device is installed but does not then indicate the immediate approach of a railway train or car.

(2) When traversing any intersection of highways if during the last 100 feet of the driver’s approach to the intersection the driver does not have a clear and unobstructed view of the intersection and of any traffic upon all of the highways entering the intersection for a distance of 100 feet along all those highways, except at an intersection protected by stop signs or yield right-of-way signs or controlled by official traffic control signals.

(3) On any alley.

(b) Twenty-five miles per hour:

(1) On any highway other than a state highway, in any business or residence district unless a different speed is determined by local authority under procedures set forth in this code.

(2) When approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching or passing any school grounds which are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign. For purposes of this subparagraph, standard “SCHOOL” warning signs may be placed at any distance up to 500 feet away from school grounds.

(3) When passing a senior center or other facility primarily used by senior citizens, contiguous to a street other than a state highway and posted with a standard “SENIOR” warning sign. A local authority may erect a sign pursuant to this paragraph when the local agency makes a determination that the proposed signing should be implemented. A local authority may request grant funding from the Active Transportation Program pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 2380) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other grant funding available to it, and use that grant funding to pay for the erection of those signs, or may utilize any other funds available to it to pay for the erection of those signs, including, but not limited to, donations from private sources.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 12, Sec. 15. (AB 95) Effective June 24, 2015.)

22357.  (a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that a speed greater than 25 miles per hour would facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic and would be reasonable and safe upon any street other than a state highway otherwise subject to a prima facie limit of 25 miles per hour, the local authority may by ordinance determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 miles per hour or a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate to facilitate the orderly movement of traffic and is reasonable and safe. The declared prima facie or maximum speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street and shall not thereafter be revised except upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. This section does not apply to any 25-mile-per-hour prima facie limit which is applicable when passing a school building or the grounds thereof or when passing a senior center or other facility primarily used by senior citizens.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 28) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 29. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22357.1.  Notwithstanding Section 22357, a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, set a prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour on any street, other than a state highway, adjacent to any children’s playground in a public park but only during particular hours or days when children are expected to use the facilities. The 25 mile per hour speed limit shall be effective when signs giving notice of the speed limit are posted.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 508, Sec. 1.)

22358.  (a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the limit of 65 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe upon any portion of any street other than a state highway where the limit of 65 miles per hour is applicable, the local authority may by ordinance determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30, or 25 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate to facilitate the orderly movement of traffic and is reasonable and safe, which declared prima facie limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 30) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 31. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22358.3.  Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour in a business or residence district or in a public park on any street having a roadway not exceeding 25 feet in width, other than a state highway, is more than is reasonable or safe, the local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate and is reasonable and safe. The declared prima facie limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1095.)

22358.4.  (a) (1) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour established by subdivision (b) of Section 22352 is more than is reasonable or safe, the local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is justified as the appropriate speed limit by that survey.

(2) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.

(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or any other provision of law, a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare prima facie speed limits as follows:

(A) A 15 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, a school building or the grounds of a school building, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

(B) A 25 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

(2) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply only to highways that meet all of the following conditions:

(A) A maximum of two traffic lanes.

(B) A maximum posted 30 miles per hour prima facie speed limit immediately prior to and after the school zone.

(3) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply to all lanes of an affected highway, in both directions of travel.

(4) When determining the need to lower the prima facie speed limit, the local authority shall take the provisions of Section 627 into consideration.

(5) (A) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.

(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 15 miles per hour may be placed at a distance up to 500 feet away from school grounds.

(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 25 miles per hour may be placed at any distance between 500 and 1,000 feet away from the school grounds.

(D) A local authority shall reimburse the Department of Transportation for all costs incurred by the department under this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 208, Sec. 15. (AB 2906) Effective January 1, 2017.)

22358.5.  It is the intent of the Legislature that physical conditions such as width, curvature, grade and surface conditions, or any other condition readily apparent to a driver, in the absence of other factors, would not require special downward speed zoning, as the basic rule of section 22350 is sufficient regulation as to such conditions.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 11.)

22359.  With respect to boundary line streets and highways where portions thereof are within different jurisdictions, no ordinance adopted under Sections 22357 and 22358 shall be effective as to any such portion until all authorities having jurisdiction of the portions of the street concerned have approved the same. This section shall not apply in the case of boundary line streets consisting of separate roadways within different jurisdictions.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 209.)

22360.  (a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the limit of 65 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe upon any portion of a highway other than a state highway for a distance of not exceeding 2,000 feet in length between districts, either business or residence, the local authority may determine and declare a reasonable and safe prima facie limit thereon lower than 65 miles per hour, but not less than 25 miles per hour, which declared prima facie speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street or highway.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 32) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22361.  On multiple-lane highways with two or more separate roadways different prima facie speed limits may be established for different roadways under any of the procedures specified in Sections 22354 to 22359, inclusive.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 209.)

ENFORCEMENT AND SPEED TRAPS

40801.  No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution under this code.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

40802.  (a) A “speed trap” is either of the following:

(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

(2) A particular section of a highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects. This paragraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

(b) (1) For purposes of this section, a local street or road is one that is functionally classified as “local” on the “California Road System Maps,” that are approved by the Federal Highway Administration and maintained by the Department of Transportation. When a street or road does not appear on the “California Road System Maps,” it may be defined as a “local street or road” if it primarily provides access to abutting residential property and meets the following three conditions:

(A) Roadway width of not more than 40 feet.

(B) Not more than one-half of a mile of uninterrupted length. Interruptions shall include official traffic control signals as defined in Section 445.

(C) Not more than one traffic lane in each direction.

(2) For purposes of this section, “school zone” means that area approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof that is contiguous to a highway and on which is posted a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. “School zone” also includes the area approaching or passing any school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children if that highway is posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign.

(c) (1) When all of the following criteria are met, paragraph (2) of this subdivision shall be applicable and subdivision (a) shall not be applicable:

(A) When radar is used, the arresting officer has successfully completed a radar operator course of not less than 24 hours on the use of police traffic radar, and the course was approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(B) When laser or any other electronic device is used to measure the speed of moving objects, the arresting officer has successfully completed the training required in subparagraph (A) and an additional training course of not less than two hours approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(C) (i) The prosecution proved that the arresting officer complied with subparagraphs (A) and (B) and that an engineering and traffic survey has been conducted in accordance with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2). The prosecution proved that, prior to the officer issuing the notice to appear, the arresting officer established that the radar, laser, or other electronic device conformed to the requirements of subparagraph (D).

(ii) The prosecution proved the speed of the accused was unsafe for the conditions present at the time of alleged violation unless the citation was for a violation of Section 22349, 22356, or 22406.

(D) The radar, laser, or other electronic device used to measure the speed of the accused meets or exceeds the minimal operational standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and has been calibrated within the three years prior to the date of the alleged violation by an independent certified laser or radar repair and testing or calibration facility.

(2) A “speed trap” is either of the following:

(A) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

(B) (i) A particular section of a highway or state highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within one of the following time periods, prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects:

(I) Except as specified in subclause (II), seven years.

(II) If an engineering and traffic survey was conducted more than seven years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and a registered engineer evaluates the section of the highway and determines that no significant changes in roadway or traffic conditions have occurred, including, but not limited to, changes in adjoining property or land use, roadway width, or traffic volume, 10 years.

(ii) This subparagraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 397, Sec. 9. (SB 810) Effective January 1, 2018.)

40803.  (a) No evidence as to the speed of a vehicle upon a highway shall be admitted in any court upon the trial of any person in any prosecution under this code upon a charge involving the speed of a vehicle when the evidence is based upon or obtained from or by the maintenance or use of a speedtrap.

(b) In any prosecution under this code of a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, where enforcement involves the use of radar or other electronic devices which measure the speed of moving objects, the prosecution shall establish, as part of its prima facie case, that the evidence or testimony presented is not based upon a speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802.

(c) When a traffic and engineering survey is required pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802, evidence that a traffic and engineering survey has been conducted within five years of the date of the alleged violation or evidence that the offense was committed on a local street or road as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802 shall constitute a prima facie case that the evidence or testimony is not based upon a speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 124, Sec. 147. Effective January 1, 1997.)

40804.  (a) In any prosecution under this code upon a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, an officer or other person shall be incompetent as a witness if the testimony is based upon or obtained from or by the maintenance or use of a speed trap.

(b)  An officer arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, a person so charged while on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing the provisions of Divisions 10 (commencing with Section 20000) and 11 (commencing with Section 21000) is incompetent as a witness if at the time of that arrest he was not wearing a distinctive uniform, or was using a motor vehicle not painted the distinctive color specified by the commissioner.

(c) This section does not apply to an officer assigned exclusively to the duty of investigating and securing evidence in reference to the theft of a vehicle or failure of a person to stop in the event of an accident or violation of Section 23109 or 23109.1 or in reference to a felony charge or to an officer engaged in serving a warrant when the officer is not engaged in patrolling the highways for the purpose of enforcing the traffic laws.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 682, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2008.)

40805.  Every court shall be without jurisdiction to render a judgment of conviction against any person for a violation of this code involving the speed of a vehicle if the court admits any evidence or testimony secured in violation of, or which is inadmissible under this article.

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