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Consequences of a California Stop

red and white stop sign, traffic sign
Consequences of a California Stop

Failing to Stop at a Stop Sign in CA

You may have heard the phrase “California stop” to describe someone who doesn’t come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Although the origin of the name is unknown, one thing remains well-known: Countless drivers are guilty of doing California stops.

Maybe you’ve done it yourself, and if you have, you’re not alone. Sometimes drivers think they’ve come to a complete stop and other times they are simply in a rush to get somewhere. Many drivers don’t even realize there was a stop sign at the intersection they crossed. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to discuss the legal repercussions of failing to stop at a stop sign in California.

The consequences of the California stop extend beyond fines. You must come to a complete stop at a stop sign not only because it’s the law but also for the safety of you and others. For instance, in 2017, not a day went by without a traffic fatality in California. This alarming statistic may help you recognize the need to discuss traffic safety, particularly, California stops.

CVC 22450 states that the driver of any vehicle approaching a stop sign at the entrance to, or within, an intersection shall stop at a limit line, if marked, before entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection. If there is no limit line or crosswalk, the driver shall stop at the entrance to the intersecting roadway. In simple terms, drivers must come to a full stop at a stop sign or else they may face unfavorable penalties, such as:

  • $238 fine + court costs and assessments
  • Mandatory attendance of traffic school
  • One added point to your driving record
  • Increased insurance premiums

Your costs could total to hundreds of dollars or more depending on your additional fees and insurance plan. That’s why it is in your best interests to take the extra time to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, as you would rather spare a few extra seconds of your day instead of hundreds of dollars and headaches. Thus, our Oakland traffic ticket lawyer advises you to keep the following tips in mind so you can best avoid getting a ticket and suffering subsequent penalties:

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Distracted driving is rooted in phone use, eating, fatigue and other factors, which is why it’s especially crucial to actively scan your environment so you can identify street signs, other vehicles and pedestrians. They can be easy to miss if you are not alert.
  • Drive the speed limit: California is notorious for speeding drivers. Although it may seem obvious to drive the speed limit, you’d be surprised to learn how many drivers get ticketed for going merely a few miles an hour over the posted speed limit. There are also cases where drivers don’t recognize speed limit changes on the road and, therefore, they speed by accident.
  • Stop at the marked line: Failing to stop at a stop sign can occur when drivers do not fully stop at the marked line. It doesn’t matter if they stopped three feet over the line, as three feet can make the difference between safety and a preventable accident. Depending on the road conditions, the marked lines can be hard to see and thus result in a “guessing game” of where to stop. In cases like these, you should stop right before the stop sign for extra precaution.

Commercial and non-commercial drivers alike must fully stop at a stop sign. It’s not worth it to do otherwise. However, our traffic ticket attorney understands that people can get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, which is why drivers throughout Oakland count on us to advocate for their best interests.

If you need a proven, reliable legal team in your corner, contact the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed at (510) 907-6600 today!