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socrateaser, Attorney
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 39039
Experience:  retired (mostly)
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I may be cited for violating CVC 21804(a). The fact are these. The

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I may be cited for violating CVC 21804(a). The fact are these.

The incident occurred on an east -west road.

I was backing out of a south side driveway onto a two lane road at 1-2 mph. When I began backing out, there were no vehicles moving to the left, right or behind me.

My intent was to turn my steering wheel so the rear of my car would enter the first, east bound lane of traffic. After completing the turn, my intent was to stop, place the car in a forward gear, and drive off eastwards.

A second vehicle was apparently in the far westbound lane. At some point, the driver and another person began to push the car in reverse and turned their wheel in such a manner as to cause the vehicle to cross from the westbound lane into the eastbound lane. The so-called driver said he an another person were pushing the car because its reverse gear did not work.

At some point the cars collided. My car was perpendicular to the lanes of travel and was one to two feet into the eastbound lane. The other car was behind me at a 45 degree angle to the lanes of travel. The other car front was in the westbound lane and its rear was in the east bound lane.

My car was contacted in rear center. The other car was contacted in the left (driver side) rear bumper at the corner.

My questions are these. Are CVC 21804(a) violations strict liability offenses? What defenses (arguments)do I have against the violation?

I would argue that at the time I entered the road, there was no immediate hazard and that the hazard was created subsequently by the negligent actions of the other driver.

You asked:

Are CVC 21804(a) violations strict liability offenses?

A: Yes. The code section requires that failure to yield to traffic which is close enough to be an immediate hazard is an infraction.

What defenses (arguments)do I have against the violation?

A: The principal, and perhaps only defense is that the evidence in the report, no matter what it states, cannot possibly identify what occurred prior to the time that physicial evidence became present on the road surface. Since the other vehicle is alleged to have been on the other side of the highway when defendant moved onto the highway, defendant's vehicle could not be an immediate hazard, unless the other vehicle travelled across the centerline and itself became the immediate harzard for defendant's vehicle. Therefore, defendant is not guilty under VC 21804(a).

Hope this helps.
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