Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 11. RULES OF THE ROAD [21000 - 23336]

  ( Division 11 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 7. Speed Laws [22348 - 22413]

  ( Chapter 7 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

ARTICLE 1. Generally [22348 - 22366]
  ( Heading of Article 1 amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 11. )

22348.
  

(a) Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 22351, a person shall not drive a vehicle upon a highway with a speed limit established pursuant to Section 22349 or 22356 at a speed greater than that speed limit.

(b) A person who drives a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 100 miles per hour is guilty of an infraction punishable, as follows:

(1) Upon a first conviction of a violation of this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500). The court may also suspend the privilege of the person to operate a motor vehicle for a period not to exceed 30 days pursuant to Section 13200.5.

(2) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within three years of a prior offense resulting in a conviction of an offense under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 13355.

(3) Upon a conviction under this subdivision of an offense that occurred within five years of two or more prior offenses resulting in convictions of offenses under this subdivision, by a fine of not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000). The person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle shall be suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 13355.

(c) A vehicle subject to Section 22406 shall be driven in a lane designated pursuant to Section 21655, or if a lane has not been so designated, in the right-hand lane for traffic or as close as practicable to the right-hand edge or curb. When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, the driver shall use either the designated lane, the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, or the right-hand lane for traffic as permitted under this code. If, however, specific lane or lanes have not been designated on a divided highway having four or more clearly marked lanes for traffic in one direction, a vehicle may also be driven in the lane to the immediate left of the right-hand lane, unless otherwise prohibited under this code. This subdivision does not apply to a driver who is preparing for a left- or right-hand turn or who is in the process of entering into or exiting from a highway or to a driver who is required necessarily to drive in a lane other than the right-hand lane to continue on his or her intended route.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 300, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2005.)

22349.
  

(a) Except as provided in Section 22356, no person may drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than 65 miles per hour.

(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person may drive a vehicle upon a two-lane, undivided highway at a speed greater than 55 miles per hour unless that highway, or portion thereof, has been posted for a higher speed by the Department of Transportation or appropriate local agency upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. For purposes of this subdivision, the following apply:

(1) A two-lane, undivided highway is a highway with not more than one through lane of travel in each direction.

(2) Passing lanes may not be considered when determining the number of through lanes.

(c) It is the intent of the Legislature that there be reasonable signing on affected two-lane, undivided highways described in subdivision (b) in continuing the 55 miles-per-hour speed limit, including placing signs at county boundaries to the extent possible, and at other appropriate locations.

(Amended by Stats. 1999, Ch. 724, Sec. 41. Effective January 1, 2000.)

22350.
  

No person shall drive a vehicle upon a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of persons or property.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 252.)

22351.
  

(a) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway not in excess of the limits specified in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is lawful unless clearly proved to be in violation of the basic speed law.

(b) The speed of any vehicle upon a highway in excess of the prima facie speed limits in Section 22352 or established as authorized in this code is prima facie unlawful unless the defendant establishes by competent evidence that the speed in excess of said limits did not constitute a violation of the basic speed law at the time, place and under the conditions then existing.

(Enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3.)

22352.
  

The prima facie limits are as follows and shall be applicable unless changed as authorized in this code and, if so changed, only when signs have been erected giving notice thereof:

(a) Fifteen miles per hour:

(1) When traversing a railway grade crossing, if during the last 100 feet of the approach to the crossing the driver does not have a clear and unobstructed view of the crossing and of any traffic on the railway for a distance of 400 feet in both directions along the railway. This subdivision does not apply in the case of any railway grade crossing where a human flagman is on duty or a clearly visible electrical or mechanical railway crossing signal device is installed but does not then indicate the immediate approach of a railway train or car.

(2) When traversing any intersection of highways if during the last 100 feet of the driver’s approach to the intersection the driver does not have a clear and unobstructed view of the intersection and of any traffic upon all of the highways entering the intersection for a distance of 100 feet along all those highways, except at an intersection protected by stop signs or yield right-of-way signs or controlled by official traffic control signals.

(3) On any alley.

(b) Twenty-five miles per hour:

(1) On any highway other than a state highway, in any business or residence district unless a different speed is determined by local authority under procedures set forth in this code.

(2) When approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching or passing any school grounds which are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign. For purposes of this subparagraph, standard “SCHOOL” warning signs may be placed at any distance up to 500 feet away from school grounds.

(3) When passing a senior center or other facility primarily used by senior citizens, contiguous to a street other than a state highway and posted with a standard “SENIOR” warning sign. A local authority may erect a sign pursuant to this paragraph when the local agency makes a determination that the proposed signing should be implemented. A local authority may request grant funding from the Active Transportation Program pursuant to Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 2380) of Division 3 of the Streets and Highways Code, or any other grant funding available to it, and use that grant funding to pay for the erection of those signs, or may utilize any other funds available to it to pay for the erection of those signs, including, but not limited to, donations from private sources.

(Amended by Stats. 2015, Ch. 12, Sec. 15. (AB 95) Effective June 24, 2015.)

22353.
  

When conducting an engineering and traffic survey, the City of Norco, in addition to the factors set forth in Section 627, may also consider equestrian safety.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 186, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2003.)

22353.5.
  

When conducting an engineering and traffic survey of the public streets within the boundaries of the common interest development known as Orange Park Acres, in addition to the factors set forth in Section 627, the County of Orange may also consider equestrian safety.

(Added by Stats. 2014, Ch. 282, Sec. 1. (AB 1669) Effective January 1, 2015.)

22354.
  

(a) Whenever the Department of Transportation determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the limit of 65 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe upon any portion of a state highway where the limit of 65 miles is applicable, the department may determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30 or 25 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate to facilitate the orderly movement of traffic and is reasonable and safe, which declared prima facie speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the highway.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 24) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 25. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22354.5.
  

(a) Whenever the Department of Transportation determines, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey, to increase or decrease the existing speed limit on a particular portion of a state highway pursuant to Section 22354, it shall, prior to increasing or decreasing that speed limit, consult with, and take into consideration the recommendations of, the Department of the California Highway Patrol.

(b)  The city council or board of supervisors of a city or county through which any portion of a state highway subject to subdivision (a) extends may conduct a public hearing on the proposed increase or decrease at a convenient location as near as possible to that portion of state highway. The Department of Transportation shall take into consideration the results of the public hearing in determining whether to increase or decrease the speed limit.

(Added by Stats. 1991, Ch. 219, Sec. 1.)

22355.
  

Whenever the Department of Transportation determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the safe and orderly movement of traffic upon any state highway which is a freeway will be facilitated by the establishment of variable speed limits, the department may erect, regulate, and control signs upon the state highway which is a freeway, or any portion thereof, which signs shall be so designed as to permit display of different speed limits at various times of the day or night. Such signs need not conform to the standards and specifications established by regulations of the Department of Transportation pursuant to Section 21400, but shall be of sufficient size and clarity to give adequate notice of the applicable speed limit. The speed limit upon the freeway at a particular time and place shall be that which is then and there displayed upon such sign.

(Amended by Stats. 1973, Ch. 78.)

22356.
  

(a) Whenever the Department of Transportation, after consultation with the Department of the California Highway Patrol, determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey on existing highway segments, or upon the basis of appropriate design standards and projected traffic volumes in the case of newly constructed highway segments, that a speed greater than 65 miles per hour would facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic and would be reasonable and safe upon any state highway, or portion thereof, that is otherwise subject to a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour, the Department of Transportation, with the approval of the Department of the California Highway Patrol, may declare a higher maximum speed of 70 miles per hour for vehicles not subject to Section 22406, and shall cause appropriate signs to be erected giving notice thereof. The Department of Transportation shall only make a determination under this section that is fully consistent with, and in full compliance with, federal law.

(b) No person shall drive a vehicle upon that highway at a speed greater than 70 miles per hour, as posted.

(c) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 26) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 27. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22357.
  

(a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that a speed greater than 25 miles per hour would facilitate the orderly movement of vehicular traffic and would be reasonable and safe upon any street other than a state highway otherwise subject to a prima facie limit of 25 miles per hour, the local authority may by ordinance determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, or 60 miles per hour or a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate to facilitate the orderly movement of traffic and is reasonable and safe. The declared prima facie or maximum speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street and shall not thereafter be revised except upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey. This section does not apply to any 25-mile-per-hour prima facie limit which is applicable when passing a school building or the grounds thereof or when passing a senior center or other facility primarily used by senior citizens.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 28) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 29. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22357.1.
  

Notwithstanding Section 22357, a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, set a prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour on any street, other than a state highway, adjacent to any children’s playground in a public park but only during particular hours or days when children are expected to use the facilities. The 25 mile per hour speed limit shall be effective when signs giving notice of the speed limit are posted.

(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 508, Sec. 1.)

22358.
  

(a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the limit of 65 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe upon any portion of any street other than a state highway where the limit of 65 miles per hour is applicable, the local authority may by ordinance determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 60, 55, 50, 45, 40, 35, 30, or 25 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate to facilitate the orderly movement of traffic and is reasonable and safe, which declared prima facie limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 30) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 31. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22358.3.
  

Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour in a business or residence district or in a public park on any street having a roadway not exceeding 25 feet in width, other than a state highway, is more than is reasonable or safe, the local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate and is reasonable and safe. The declared prima facie limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street.

(Amended by Stats. 1972, Ch. 1095.)

22358.4.
  

(a) (1) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the prima facie speed limit of 25 miles per hour established by subdivision (b) of Section 22352 is more than is reasonable or safe, the local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 20 or 15 miles per hour, whichever is justified as the appropriate speed limit by that survey.

(2) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.

(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or any other provision of law, a local authority may, by ordinance or resolution, determine and declare prima facie speed limits as follows:

(A) A 15 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, a school building or the grounds of a school building, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of less than 500 feet from, or passing, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 15 miles per hour.

(B) A 25 miles per hour prima facie limit in a residence district, on a highway with a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or slower, when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, a school building or the grounds thereof, contiguous to a highway and posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour, while children are going to or leaving the school, either during school hours or during the noon recess period. The prima facie limit shall also apply when approaching, at a distance of 500 to 1,000 feet from, school grounds that are not separated from the highway by a fence, gate, or other physical barrier while the grounds are in use by children and the highway is posted with a school warning sign that indicates a speed limit of 25 miles per hour.

(2) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply only to highways that meet all of the following conditions:

(A) A maximum of two traffic lanes.

(B) A maximum posted 30 miles per hour prima facie speed limit immediately prior to and after the school zone.

(3) The prima facie limits established under paragraph (1) apply to all lanes of an affected highway, in both directions of travel.

(4) When determining the need to lower the prima facie speed limit, the local authority shall take the provisions of Section 627 into consideration.

(5) (A) An ordinance or resolution adopted under paragraph (1) shall not be effective until appropriate signs giving notice of the speed limit are erected upon the highway and, in the case of a state highway, until the ordinance is approved by the Department of Transportation and the appropriate signs are erected upon the highway.

(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 15 miles per hour may be placed at a distance up to 500 feet away from school grounds.

(C) For purposes of subparagraph (B) of paragraph (1), school warning signs indicating a speed limit of 25 miles per hour may be placed at any distance between 500 and 1,000 feet away from the school grounds.

(D) A local authority shall reimburse the Department of Transportation for all costs incurred by the department under this subdivision.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 208, Sec. 15. (AB 2906) Effective January 1, 2017.)

22358.5.
  

It is the intent of the Legislature that physical conditions such as width, curvature, grade and surface conditions, or any other condition readily apparent to a driver, in the absence of other factors, would not require special downward speed zoning, as the basic rule of section 22350 is sufficient regulation as to such conditions.

(Added by Stats. 1959, Ch. 11.)

22359.
  

With respect to boundary line streets and highways where portions thereof are within different jurisdictions, no ordinance adopted under Sections 22357 and 22358 shall be effective as to any such portion until all authorities having jurisdiction of the portions of the street concerned have approved the same. This section shall not apply in the case of boundary line streets consisting of separate roadways within different jurisdictions.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 209.)

22360.
  

(a) Whenever a local authority determines upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey that the limit of 65 miles per hour is more than is reasonable or safe upon any portion of a highway other than a state highway for a distance of not exceeding 2,000 feet in length between districts, either business or residence, the local authority may determine and declare a reasonable and safe prima facie limit thereon lower than 65 miles per hour, but not less than 25 miles per hour, which declared prima facie speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected upon the street or highway.

(b) This section shall become operative on the date specified in subdivision (c) of Section 22366.

(Repealed (in Sec. 32) and added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 33. Effective January 1, 1996. This section became operative, by its own provisions, on the date described in Section 22366.)

22361.
  

On multiple-lane highways with two or more separate roadways different prima facie speed limits may be established for different roadways under any of the procedures specified in Sections 22354 to 22359, inclusive.

(Amended by Stats. 1963, Ch. 209.)

22362.
  

It is prima facie a violation of the basic speed law for any person to operate a vehicle in excess of the posted speed limit upon any portion of a highway where officers or employees of the agency having jurisdiction of the same, or any contractor of the agency or his employees, are at work on the roadway or within the right-of-way so close thereto as to be endangered by passing traffic. This section applies only when appropriate signs, indicating the limits of the restricted zone, and the speed limit applicable therein, are placed by such agency within 400 feet of each end of such zone. The signs shall display the figures indicating the applicable limit, which shall not be less than 25 miles per hour, and shall indicate the purpose of the speed restriction. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to relieve any operator of a vehicle from complying with the basic speed law.

(Amended by Stats. 1970, Ch. 515.)

22363.
  

Notwithstanding any speed limit that may be in effect upon the highway, the Department of Transportation in respect to state highways, or a local authority with respect to highways under its jurisdiction, may determine and declare a prima facie speed limit of 40, 35, 30, or 25 miles per hour, whichever is found most appropriate and is reasonable and safe based on the prevailing snow or ice conditions upon such highway or any portion thereof. Signs may be placed and removed as snow or ice conditions vary.

(Amended by Stats. 1974, Ch. 545.)

22364.
  

Whenever the Department of Transportation determines, upon the basis of an engineering and traffic survey, that the safe and orderly movement of traffic upon any state highway will be facilitated by the establishment of different speed limits for the various lanes of traffic, the department may place signs upon the state highway, or any portion thereof. The signs shall designate the speed limits for each of the lanes of traffic.

(Amended by Stats. 1982, Ch. 681, Sec. 84.)

22365.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any county or city, which is contained, in whole or in part, within the South Coast Air Quality Management District, may, if the county or city determines that it is necessary to achieve or maintain state or federal ambient air quality standards for particulate matter, determine and declare by ordinance a prima facie speed limit that is lower than that which the county or city is otherwise permitted by this code to establish, for any unpaved road under the jurisdiction of the county or city and within the district. That declared prima facie speed limit shall be effective when appropriate signs giving notice thereof are erected along the road.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 16, Sec. 1. Effective May 30, 1997.)

22366.
  

(a) Whenever the Director of Transportation determines the date upon which the state may establish a maximum speed limit of 65 miles per hour on highways without subjecting the state to a reduction in the amount of federal aid for highways, the director shall notify the Secretary of State of that determination.

(b) The notice required under subdivision (a) shall state that it is being made pursuant to this section.

(c) The notice shall specify a date which is either the date determined pursuant to subdivision (a), or a later date designated by the director.

(Added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 766, Sec. 34. Effective January 1, 1996.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH1.