CVC 22107: Unsafe Lane Changes

Improper and unsafe lane changes make California roads more dangerous for everyone who uses them. Every time you turn or change lanes without signaling your intentions to other drivers, you make it more difficult for them to drive safely (and, you risk getting a ticket, fines, and points on your license).

Following the laws and regulations surrounding lane changes is crucial for keeping everyone on the road safe. But as any driver knows, navigating California’s highways and streets can be a challenge, and it’s possible for even the most cautious driver to make a mistake.

Whether you’re a seasoned driver or a new resident of California, you need to know and understand the laws surrounding lane changes. For a comprehensive understanding of these laws and how to apply them in real-world driving situations, read on.

What is a CVC 22107 Unsafe Lane Change?

In California, a CVC 22107 violation is given to drivers who make an unsafe lane change. Specifically, California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 22107 requires that any driver who intends to turn or change lanes on a highway signal their intention to do so, and must only make the turn or lane change when it is safe and reasonable to do so.

Here’s what the California Vehicle Code says in full:

“22107. No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”

In other words, the Vehicle Code states that drivers can only change lanes when:

  1. It’s safe to do so
  2. After signaling

It’s also important to note that the law is informally called the “unsafe lane change law,” but it applies to any time a driver moves left or right from a direct course, which means it applies when changing lanes, pulling over, making a turn, and many other common driving scenarios.

An unsafe lane change can include a variety of actions, such as abruptly changing lanes without signaling, failing to check blind spots, or cutting off other vehicles on the road. It’s important for all California drivers to understand and follow CVC 22107, as doing so can help prevent accidents and promote safe driving practices on the state’s busy highways and roads.

What Are the Consequences of a 22107 CVC Violation?

What Are the Consequences of a 22107 CVC Violation

The consequences of a CVC 22107 violation in California can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the violation, as well as the driver’s prior driving record. The most common consequences include:

  • Fines. Drivers who violate CVC 22107 may be subject to fines ranging from $234 to $490, depending on the county where the violation occurred.
  • Points on your driver’s license. A CVC 22107 violation is a moving violation that typically results in one point being added to your driver’s license. If you accumulate too many points, you could have your license suspended or revoked.
  • Increased insurance rates. Drivers who receive a CVC 22107 violation may also see an increase in their auto insurance rates, since any moving violation can negatively impact a driver’s perceived risk level.

There are even cases where an unsafe lane change could result in criminal charges, particularly if the violation results in an accident or injury. Possible charges include reckless driving or vehicular manslaughter, which carry much more severe consequences than a simple traffic infraction.

How Much Does a CVC 22107 Fine Cost?

How Much Does a CVC 22107 Cost?

Base fines for a CVC 22107 range from $234 to $490 depending on the county where the violation occurred. This doesn’t count administration fees and other costs that frequently get tacked onto the cost of a ticket. In all, the cost of the ticket can easily surpass $1,000.

But that’s not where the financial consequences end. According to a 2021 study by The Zebra, an online auto insurance comparison marketplace, a single moving violation can increase auto insurance rates by an average of 11.7% in California. The study found that drivers with a moving violation on their record paid an average of $2,193 per year for auto insurance, compared to $1,960 per year for drivers with a clean driving record.

Can You Go to Traffic School for an Unsafe Lane Change?

Can You Go to Traffic School for an Unsafe Lane Change

One way to mitigate the financial consequences of an unsafe lane change violation is by attending traffic school.

Under California law, drivers are generally eligible to attend traffic school for moving violations, such as an unsafe lane change, if they meet these requirements:

  • Not having attended traffic school for a moving violation within the past 18 months
  • Agreeing to plead guilty to the traffic violation and pay any associated fines

You’ll have to ask the court to approve traffic school, but if they do, you can attend to mask the point on your license.

This doesn’t mean the violation is removed from your record. But it does prevent insurance companies from being able to see the violation, which means your auto insurance rates won’t be affected.

It’s important to note that you’ll still have to pay all the fines and fees for your ticket, plus complete a traffic school course that’s approved and licensed by the California DMV, and pass a test.

If you choose to attend traffic school for an unsafe lane change, choose the most convenient option: an online course with Best Online Traffic School. Our course can be completed from any device, anywhere you have an internet connection. You can complete the lessons and test on your own time, and you don’t have to pay until after you pass, so it’s completely risk free. Start traffic school (for free) today.

How to Fight CVC 22107 Unsafe Lane Change Violation

How to Fight Unsafe Lane Change (CVC 22107) Violation

If you have received a ticket for an unsafe lane change in California and believe that you are not guilty, you have the option to contest the ticket and fight the charge. Here’s what to do:

  • Request a trial. When you receive a traffic ticket for an unsafe lane change, you have the right to contest the charge in court. To do so, you must plead not guilty to the violation and request a trial. The back of your ticket should have specific instructions for the county where you received the ticket, but in most cases, you’ll complete the “not guilty” section of the ticket and return it to the court by the deadline indicated. Alternatively, you may be able to submit your plea online or by phone, depending on the court’s policies. 
  • Pay your bail. In most cases, you will be required to pay a bail amount when you plead not guilty and request a trial. Bail is intended to ensure that you will appear in court and can be refunded if you are found not guilty. The bail amount varies depending on the violation and the court.
  • Gather evidence. To build your defense, you’ll need to gather evidence to support your case. This can include photos or videos of the road where the alleged violation occurred, witness statements, or any other documentation that supports your version of events.
  • Present your case in court. At your trial, you’ll have the opportunity to present your case and argue why you are not guilty of the violation. Be prepared to provide evidence, witness testimony, and any other information you have that supports your defense.

If the court finds you guilty of the violation, you may have the option to appeal the decision. This typically involves requesting a new trial or appealing to a higher court.

How to Write a Trial by Written Declaration for an Unsafe Lane Change

How to Write a Trial by Written Declaration for an Unsafe Lane Change

Rather than appearing in court to contest your ticket, you may be able to write a trial by written declaration — a written statement in which you present your case to the court and ask that the ticket be dismissed.

Here’s how to write a trial by written declaration for an unsafe lane change ticket in California:

  • Gather evidence. You’ll use similar evidence to what you would have presented at an in-person trial: witness statements, photos or videos of the road where the alleged violation occurred, or other documentation that shows you did not commit the violation.
  • Complete the trial by written declaration form. Obtain and complete the correct form from the court where your case will be heard. You will need to provide your personal information, the violation code, the details of the alleged violation, and your defense statement.
  • File the form. Submit the completed form to the court before the deadline. You must also pay the bail amount at this time, which will be refunded if you are found not guilty.
  • Wait for the court’s decision. The court will review your submitted information and evidence, as well as any submitted evidence from the law enforcement officer who issued your ticket. If the court finds you not guilty, the case will be dismissed, and you will receive a refund of your bail amount.

If the court finds you guilty, you can appeal the situation. When you appeal a trial by written declaration, you will have to appear in-person in court at a later date.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for a CVC 22107?

Preparing to contest a traffic ticket — whether in court or by trial by written declaration — can be a complex and challenging process, and it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced traffic attorney if you have any questions or concerns. A traffic attorney can help you understand your legal options and build a stronger case, but the drawback is that attorneys can be expensive — in some cases, more costly than the ticket itself, especially for minor violations.

Ultimately, whether to hire a lawyer is a personal choice that will depend on every individual’s circumstances and case.

Avoid CVC 22107 Tickets

The best way to avoid a ticket for an unsafe lane change is to know California’s traffic laws — and always follow them.

But if you do get a ticket, traffic school can help. Sign up for Best Online Traffic School today.

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