What Does California’s Anti-Gridlock Mean?

If you are driving in LA and get stuck in the middle of an intersection due to traffic, you may find yourself slapped with a ticket. While you can always reach out to the traffic ticket attorney Los Angeles residents count on, you may first want to understand the law. The reason for this situation is California’s anti-gridlock law.

What Does the Law Say?

The law in question is California Vehicle Code Section 22526(a), created by the Anti-Gridlock Law of 1987. California cities, especially LA, are notorious for significant traffic that seems to get nowhere fast. Part of the reason for this is gridlock. This traffic condition occurs when there are too many cars in a grid system and cars in one direction block the cars in the other direction at an intersection.

California’s solution was to make it illegal to proceed into the intersection unless you are able to fully cross the intersection. In other words, if there are too many cars on the next block for you to be able to get all the way across the intersection, it is illegal for you to drive through the light, even if it is green. This statute applies to all intersections, including those with stop signs or no control devices.

You may have seen signs on the road that read “don’t block the box.” In California, it is illegal to do so.

What Will Happen if You Violate This Law?

The consequences of the law were initially about the same as a parking ticket. However, the fine is now over $280 at the state level. Many cities have also posted signs on troublesome intersections. Violating the law on an intersection with such signage comes with an even steeper fine. You may be needing to look for the best traffic ticket lawyer Sacramento has to offer if you get caught in one of the city’s intersections.

In some intersections, cities have installed cameras to catch people who enter the box inappropriately. You may receive a ticket and photographic evidence in the mail if you break this law.

Why Does This Law Exist?

The anti-gridlock law may seem draconian. After all, entering the intersection before traffic has moved is a common practice in many places. Of course, that is exactly why the law exists. People are so prone to blocking the box, they tend to create immovable traffic patterns simply by being impatient.

California is not alone with this law. Most major cities have some sort of anti-gridlock law on the books and use other methods to dissuade drivers also. For example, in New York City, there are yellow lines painted into the intersection to show it is a no-stopping zone. This idea was borrowed from London.

How Can You Handle a Ticket?

If you find yourself with a ticket, you may be able to fight it, especially if you received it due to a camera. Look for a local traffic attorney. For example, you may need to call up a Fresno speeding ticket lawyer for help in that city. A little expert help can go a long way.