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J.A Evans
J.A Evans, Lawyer
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 24
Experience:  Prosecuted traffic, misdemeanor & felony level offenses 10 yrs. Worked as a judicial law clerk and wrote the judicial opinions.
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Is it against the law in CA to pull over in a construction

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Is it against the law in CA to pull over in a construction zone to allow other cars to pass? My husband who is a truck driver, received a ticket for not pulling over (5 or more cars behind him).  No place to pull over and going slow because of the construction zone signs.

J.A Evans :

Hi I hope to help you with your question today. I have examined the California drivers manual which states that contruction zones are slow and careful areas. I find nothing about it being illegal to NOT pull over, in fact it is quite the opposite. I suggest going to the area where he was driving and ticketed and taking pictures as soon as possible so you can show the area and why he was driving in the safe manner he was driving. Call the prosecutor responsible and find a time to meet and discuss the citation and the photos. A little leg work may be required but is better than a very expensive ticket.

J.A Evans :

Here is the langage from the handbook

J.A Evans :
allow extra following room between

vehicles, merge early, expect sudden

slowing or stopping, watch for driv


ers changing lanes at the last minute,

and avoid distractions while driving

in the “

Cone Zone

.” Distractions in


clude using your hands-free cell

phone, reading/sending text mes


sages, and/or operating your GPS

and entertainment systems. Fines for

Cone Zone

can be up to $1,000 or more. Anyone

convicted of assaulting a highway

worker faces fines of up to $2,000

and imprisonment for up to one year.

Keep your eyes on the road and other

vehicles around you. Do not stop or

slow down to watch the road work.

Obey special signs or instructions

from workers (flaggers). Driving

carefully through work zones im


proves safety for drivers, pedestri


ans, bicyclists, and road workers.

Remember to “

slow for the Cone

J.A Evans :

You can sometimes contact the police officer that wrote the ticket but honestly you will get a much better response from the attorney handling the case

J.A Evans :

If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Otherwise, if I have answered your question, please rate my answer so I can get credit for my work. Best of luck to you!


What do you mean by "just the opposite"? Do you mean that my husband should have pulled over in the construction zone for other cars to pass? Can you cite the vehicle code so I can look it up?


I did take pictures of the area. It's a windy narrow mountainous road. Contacted Cal Trans for a printout of their work schedule for that day. My husband did not pull over because he was told to never pull over in a cone zone. He was going slow because of the construction zone.

J.A Evans : The citation should have a code for the offense he was cited for. Can you give me that code? The law states that you have to slow down in a cone zone. It doesn't say you have to pull over. In fact it says dont stop!

VC 21656 Turning out-slow veh.


This is a commercial code.

J.A Evans : Turning Out of Slow-Moving Vehicles21656. On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.Amended Ch. 448, Stats. 1965. Effective September 17, 1965. So he only needs to argue that there was no safe place to pull over or that his speed was prudent for the construction zone. The handbook says "no stopping" that logically includes moving over for faster vehicles.
J.A Evans : I'm glad you have taken photos. I do suggest that you fight the ticket. The best place to start as I said is trying to negotiate with the prosecutor. As long as you are respectful and calm they are usually happy to help resolve a case.

We have a court trial date. You have been very helpful and now I know where to go get my info. The officer said there was no construction, but the signs were up and Cal Trans was doing roadside work at the time. My husband had no way of knowing if he was going to be stopped at any given moment, and he was fully loaded and needed to be cautious especially in a marked construction zone. The officer pulled him over in an unsafe area (down a windy hill) where my husband was literally out on the highway. He could have waited furthur down the road where there was a safe turnout, and to which my husband would have pulled over for other cars if necessary at that time. I believe there will only be a judge and the officer and my husband at trial.


Thank you very much! I will give you an Excellent!

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