When streets are busy and full of traffic, it can be hard to navigate safely in a vehicle. That’s why we have traffic laws — to ensure that drivers share the road with one another safely, and that everyone moves in an orderly and predictable way.
California Vehicle Code 21800 (or CVC 21800) is a section of the vehicle code that describes when a driver has the responsibility to yield to other drivers on the road. Failure to follow the law as written in this section can result in a failure to yield ticket.
Curious about CVC 21800 or failure to yield violations — or what to do once you’ve gotten a failure to yield ticket? Read on for everything California drivers need to know.
What is a CVC 21800 Failure to Yield?
California Vehicle Code Sections 21800-21804 describe all the situations in which it is illegal to fail to yield to another driver. Violating any part of these sections can result in a CVC 21800 failure to yield ticket.
Types of Failure to Yield Tickets
There are several main rules outlined in the failure to yield section of the California Vehicle Code. Here are the ones all drivers should know about:
1. CVC 21800 (a)
CVC 21800 (a) requires drivers approaching an intersection to yield to motorists that have already entered the intersection.
“The driver of a vehicle approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.”
2. CVC 21800 (b)(1)
CVC 21800 (b)(1) states that if two vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
“When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right, except that the driver of any vehicle on a terminating highway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on the intersecting continuing highway.”
3. CVC 21800 (c)
CVC 21800 (c) is very similar to CVC 21800 (b)(1), except it specifies that if two vehicles arrive at an intersection at the same time that is controlled in all directions by stop signs, the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
“When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time and the intersection is controlled from all directions by stop signs, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right.”
4. CVC 21800 (d)(1)
CVC 21800 (d)(1) states that when a driver arrives at an intersection with a traffic signal that isn’t working, that driver must stop, and only proceed into the intersection when it is safe to do so.
“The driver of any vehicle approaching an intersection which has official traffic control signals that are inoperative shall stop at the intersection, and may proceed with caution when it is safe to do so.”
5. CVC 21800 (d)(2)
CVC 21800 (d)(2) is similar to the above, stating that when two drivers arrive at the same time to an intersection with a traffic signal that isn’t working, both must come to a complete stop, and the driver on the left must yield to the driver on the right.
“When two vehicles enter an intersection from different highways at the same time, and the official traffic control signals for the intersection are inoperative, the driver of the vehicle on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the vehicle on his or her immediate right, except that the driver of any vehicle on a terminating highway shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle on the intersecting continuing highway.”
6. CVC 21801
CVC 21801 states that drivers making any leftward maneuver that requires them to cross other lanes of traffic may only do so after yielding to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction.
“The driver of a vehicle intending to turn to the left or to complete a U-turn upon a highway, or to turn left into public or private property, or an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching from the opposite direction which are close enough to constitute a hazard at any time during the turning movement, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to the approaching vehicles until the left turn or U-turn can be made with reasonable safety.”
7. CVC 21802
CVC 21802 contains three rules pertaining to when a driver approaches an intersection that is controlled by stop signs:
The driver must stop at the stop sign,
Yield to any drivers that have already reached the intersection, and
Proceed through the intersection after yielding.
“The driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop as required by Section 22450. The driver shall then yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have approached from another highway, or which are approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
8. CVC 21803
CVC 21803 states that drivers approaching an intersection with a yield sign must yield to other vehicles in the intersection.
“The driver of any vehicle approaching any intersection which is controlled by a yield right-of-way sign shall, upon arriving at the sign, yield the right-of-way to any vehicles which have entered the intersection, or which are approaching on the intersecting highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to those vehicles until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
9. CVC 21804
CVC 21804 states that any driver entering or crossing a highway must yield to all traffic on the highway approaching from either direction.
“The driver of any vehicle about to enter or cross a highway from any public or private property, or from an alley, shall yield the right-of-way to all traffic, as defined in Section 620, approaching on the highway close enough to constitute an immediate hazard, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that traffic until he or she can proceed with reasonable safety.”
Can You Get a Ticket for Failure to Yield?
Yes. Failure to yield in any of the situations outlined above is a violation of the California Vehicle Code and could result in getting a ticket.
How Much Does a CVC 21800 cost?
A ticket for breaking a failure to yield law is a moving violation. It’s an infraction that carries a fine of $238, plus administrative and court fees which can vary based on where you received the ticket.
Additionally, a CVC 21800 ticket will result in one point being added to your license. Under the California DMV’s Negligent Operator System (NOTS), getting multiple points on your license within a set period of time can result in harsher penalties, like having your driver’s license suspended or revoked.
Having even one point on your license can also cause your auto insurance premiums to increase. That means that the true cost of a CVC 21800 ticket over time can be up to thousands of dollars.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for a CVC 21800?
Whether you should hire a traffic lawyer for a CVC 21800 (or any traffic ticket) depends on the specific circumstances of your case. If you believe that the citation was issued in error or if the consequences of a conviction could be significant, it may be worth consulting with an attorney. A lawyer can provide you with legal advice and represent you in court, which can increase your chances of winning the case and having the citation reduced or dismissed.
However, if the citation is for a minor infraction and the consequences of a conviction are not significant, you may be able to handle the matter on your own, such as by participating in a trial by written declaration or attending a court hearing.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer for a traffic ticket is a personal one and should be based on your individual needs and circumstances.
How to Write a Trial by Written Declaration for a Failure to Yield?
A trial by written declaration is a legal process in California that allows individuals to contest a traffic citation without appearing in court. Instead of appearing in front of a judge, individuals have the option to submit a written declaration explaining why they believe they did not commit the violation they were cited for.
To write a trial by written declaration for a failure to yield violation in California, you should follow these steps:
- Obtain the proper form: You can obtain a Trial by Written Declaration form from the court where the citation was issued or from the California DMV website.
- Fill out the form: Provide your personal information and include a brief statement explaining why you believe the citation was issued in error. You may also include any relevant evidence, such as photographs or witness statements.
- Submit the form: Submit the form, along with any supporting evidence, to the court by the due date indicated on the citation.
- Wait for a decision: The court will review your written declaration and make a decision based on the information you have provided. If you win, no further action is necessary. If you lose, you have the option to schedule a court hearing to present your case in person.
Can You Go to Traffic School for a Failure to Yield Ticket?
Yes, you can go to traffic school for a Failure to Yield ticket in California. Attending traffic school can mask up to one point on your driving record. This doesn’t remove it from your record, but it hides it from insurance companies, preventing an increase in insurance rates.
In California, you can typically attend traffic school once every 18 months, and you must request permission from the court to attend.
If the court approves you for traffic school, save time and money by attending online. Best Online Traffic School offers a DMV-licensed course that’s fast, convenient, and affordable. You can complete it in your own time, on your own devices — and you don’t have to pay until you pass.
Ready to mask your failure to yield violation? Start traffic school online today, for free.