What happens if I drive too slow in California? – California Vehicle Code VC 22400

Posted by Raoul Severo | Oct 22, 2020 | 0 Comments

Road safety encompasses a wide variety of instances. After all, it is not only overspeeding that can lead to road harms, so can "under speeding." To prevent those from happening, the state of California enacted Vehicle Code 22400 to penalize any motorist going under the minimum speed requirement that impedes the regular flow of traffic.

California Vehicle Code VC 22400

The minimum speed law states that:

  • No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.
  • No person shall bring a vehicle to a complete stop upon a highway so as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the stop is necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law.

The aforementioned conditions mean that only under specific lawfully acceptable circumstances can an operator drive his/her vehicle under the minimum speed limits. Some of the conditions for slow driving includes:

  • Weather conditions - Wet and slippery weather conditions usually cause a driver to be more careful and vigilant while driving hence slowing down during rainy and snowy weathers.
  • Vehicle's status - A broken car cannot drive as optimal as other vehicles in better condition. Either the driver or the vehicle itself causes slow-speed driving. The driver might be being cautious so as not to cause any unnecessary accident in the road, or the car itself cannot function properly due to damage.
  • Traffic situation - The current condition of the traffic can significantly affect the speed of the drivers. Specific instances, i.e., vehicular accidents traffic jams, forces the driver to reduce speed to avoid worsening the situation.
  • Driver's wellbeing - A driver cannot reach the optimal driving condition when he/she is unwell. The driver's physical and emotional state greatly affects his/her driving speed. 

Whenever the Department of Transportation determines on the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that slow speeds on any part of a state highway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the department may determine and declare a minimum speed limit below which no person shall drive a vehicle, except when necessary for safe operation or in compliance with law, when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected along the part of the highway for which a minimum speed limit is established.

Are you impeding the traffic?

A driver is considered impeding the traffic when he/she is operating a vehicle reasonably poorly, causing traffic congestions or traffic jams. This is a highly frowned upon manner of driving due to the hassle, if not harms; it can cause. This can cause delays to traffic or worst; it can endanger the lives of other motorists, especially in high-speed superhighways.

Penalties for driving under the minimum speed

Driving under the minimum speed as a violation of Vehicle Code 22400 is an infraction. An infraction is the lowest level of severity when it comes to criminal offenses. It usually comes with a fine and little to no incarceration period. Violating the minimum speed law can result in the following penalties:

  • A fine of up to two hundred and thirty-eight dollars; and,
  • One point on the driver/operator's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) record.

If the driver accumulates a certain number of points within a specific time period, he/she is penalized as a negligent operator. This can cause the suspension, if not revoking, of one's driving privileges.

Legal Support

  • A driver falsely accused of driving too slowly and impeding traffic is doomed to face legal nuisance, to prove his/her innocence, a legal aid, i.e., a defense attorney can include the following conditions:
  • The driver/operator shows evidence that he/she was not driving too slow. The defendant was able to show proof that he/she was following the minimum speed despite the accusations.
  • The driver/operator shows evidence that he/she did not impede the normal flow of traffic. The defendant was able to show proof that he/she, despite going under the minimum speed, did not impede the normal flow of traffic.
  • The driver/operator had no choice but to reduce speed to avoid vehicular accidents. The defendant acted out of necessity to avoid causing more harms, i.e., because there's already a vehicular accident ahead, or his/her vehicle is broken and can cause destruction if it were to go fast.

Facing speed violation charges can be a hassle, plus it might affect the operator's driving privileges. Hence, if you know someone facing traffic violation accusations, it would be your party's best interest to hire our aid. Our team comprises top-notch attorneys who had great experiences in being credible defense lawyers.

Related Offenses

  • California Vehicle Code 21703 – Tailgating
  • California Vehicle Code 22350 – California speed limit 
  • California Vehicle Code 23153 – Driving Under the Influence


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