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5 Common California Traffic Law Myths Debunked

5 Common Traffic Law Myths Debunked

Traffic law is a complex and often misunderstood area of law. Many people have misconceptions about traffic law related to the flow of traffic, interactions with police, and traffic tickets. In this article, we will explore commonly held myths in traffic law and provide a comprehensive explanation of the reality behind them.

Myth #1: You can drive as slow as you want if it doesn’t exceed the speed limit

This myth suggests that it is safe and permissible to drive as slow as you want as long as you don’t exceed the speed limit. However, CA Vehicle Code 22400 prohibits drivers from slowing or stopping as to impede the normal flow of traffic. This law informs the commonly held belief that drivers must primarily follow the flow of traffic.

Violation of CA Vehicle Code 22400 can result in a fine of $238 and a point on the driver’s DMV record. Points assessed on a driver’s record are reported to insurance carriers and can result in higher insurance rates. Points assessed can also add to any existing points on a driver’s record which can lead to a license suspension.  

Myth #2: You must comply with every demand from a police officer

This myth suggests that drivers are required to comply with every demand made by a police officer during a traffic stop. The truth is that drivers have specific rights that they can exercise during an interaction with the police.

For example, drivers have the right to remain silent and request an attorney if they are being questioned about a potential traffic violation. Additionally, drivers have the right to refuse a search of their vehicle if the officer does not have probable cause. However, it is important to be respectful and cooperative with the police during a traffic stop to ensure a safe and peaceful interaction.

Myth #3: Police officers have to show you their radar gun when issuing a speeding ticket

This myth suggests that police officers are required to show drivers their radar gun when issuing a speeding ticket. This is entirely false, police officers are not required to display the results of their radar guns to the drivers that they have pulled over. In fact, they may not always use a radar gun as a prerequisite for pulling over a speeding driver.

Radar guns are only one method that officers use to detect speeding violations. They can also visually estimate a vehicle’s speed or use pacing methods to determine the speed of a vehicle. As long as the officer can provide evidence of the driver’s speeding violation, a ticket can be issued.

Myth #4: You cannot remove points from your driver’s license

This myth suggests that once you have a point on your license, it’s there forever. The truth is that a driver can keep a point off of his or her driving record by attending traffic school. You must be eligible to attend traffic school to keep a point off your record. Eligibility includes:

  • A valid driver’s license
  • The ticket is related to a noncommercial vehicle; and
  • You haven’t gone to traffic school in the last 18 months

It is important to keep in mind that some tickets are not eligible for traffic school. These infractions include the following:

  • Equipment failure, such as tail lights
  • Alcohol or drug-related offenses

Be sure that the traffic school that you attend is approved by the state of California, otherwise, it will not contribute to your driving record.

Myth #5: You cannot contest a traffic ticket

A traffic violation will almost certainly result in a traffic ticket, but a traffic ticket does not have to result in fines, suspensions, and jail time. A driver can, and should, contest his or her traffic ticket.

Depending on the traffic ticket, a lawyer might be the best option to help you fight to avoid points on your license, a license suspension, and hefty fines. Some of the traffic violations worth hiring a lawyer to fight include:

  • Speeding Ticket;
  • Traffic Light or Sign Violation;
  • Red Light; and
  • Driving Under the Influence

The traffic tickets best worth paying for rather than hiring an attorney are parking tickets.

Drivers can present evidence to support their defense and potentially have their ticket reduced or dismissed. It is important for drivers to understand their legal rights and to seek the help of a traffic ticket lawyer if necessary.

Putting it All Together

Traffic law is a complex area of law, and there are several commonly held myths related to the flow of traffic, interactions with police, and traffic tickets. It is important for drivers to understand the reality of traffic law and to avoid relying on these myths, which can lead to dangerous driving habits and legal troubles. By educating themselves on traffic law and their rights as drivers, individuals can ensure a safe and peaceful driving experience.

If you have received a traffic ticket for distracted driving or any other offense, then use’s free attorney matching service to get in touch with a lawyer who may be able to represent you in court and protect you from penalties such as hefty fines and jail time.

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