Ticket for Illegal Right Turn

Illegal Right Turn & Rolling Right Tickets Defined
Illegal Right Turn & Rolling Right Tickets Defined

The difference between the two types of tickets is huge!   If you made a right-hand turn at a red light and were caught by a camera, chances are that the ticket you received in the mail states you violated CVC§21453(a) even though they could have (some argue should have) cited you for CVC§21453(b)For some cities, like Los Angeles, CA most of the revenue is generated by illegal right turns, in fact, an LA Times article from December last year reported that according to the Los Angeles Police Department, an estimated 8 in 10 photo tickets were issued for right turns.  Do you wonder police departments are now issuing tickets under Vehicle code section CVC§21453 (a) regardless of whether or not the motorist was turning right?

Here are both of these sections:

21453 Circular Red or Red Arrow

(a) A driver facing a steady circular red signal alone shall stop at a marked limit line, but if none, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection or, if none, then before entering the intersection, and shall remain stopped until an indication to proceed is shown, except as provided in subdivision (b).

(b) Except when a sign is in place prohibiting a turn, a driver, after stopping as required by subdivision (a), facing a steady circular red signal, may turn right, or turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street. A driver making that turn shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to any vehicle that has approached or is approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard to the driver, and shall continue to yield the right-of-way to that vehicle until the driver can proceed with reasonable safety.

Now, here’s the distinction:

The first section (a) says nothing about right turns and is basically used for those who go straight through a red light.

The second section (b) essentially says you can turn after stopping if there is no sign prohibiting a turn on red.

So if you made a “California rolling stop” why wouldn’t you be cited for the second section (b) instead of (a) you might ask...

Check out this “Traffic Infraction Penalty Schedule” (from the January 2010 Edition Uniform Bail and Penalty Schedules, California Rules of Court, Rule 4,102):

Section: 21453 (a, c)
Offense: “Red” Signal- Vehicular Responsibilities
Total Bail/Fee (Keep in mind the so-called “Total Bail” is before a certain additional court or other fees that is added and there are 30 counties in CA authorized by law to exceed the total bail/fee):$380.00

Section: 21453 (b)
Offense: “Red” Signal- Vehicular Responsibilities With Right Turn
Total Bail/Fee (Keep in mind the so-called “Total Bail” is before a certain additional court or other fees that is added and there are 30 counties in CA authorized by law to exceed the total bail/fee):$146.00

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