Code Section Group

Vehicle Code - VEH

DIVISION 17. OFFENSES AND PROSECUTION [40000.1 - 41610]

  ( Division 17 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

CHAPTER 3. Illegal Evidence [40800 - 40834]

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

ARTICLE 1. Prosecutions Under Code [40800 - 40808]
  ( Article 1 enacted by Stats. 1959, Ch. 3. )

40800.
  

(a) A traffic officer on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing the provisions of Division 10 (commencing with Section 20000) or Division 11 (commencing with Section 21000) shall wear a full distinctive uniform, and if the officer while on duty uses a motor vehicle, it shall be a distinctive color specified by the commissioner.

(b) This section does not apply to an officer assigned exclusively to the duty of investigating and securing evidence in reference to the theft of a vehicle, failure of a person to stop in the event of an accident, violation of Section 23109 or 23109.1, in reference to a felony charge, or to an officer engaged in serving a warrant when the officer is not engaged in patrolling the highways for the purpose of enforcing the traffic laws.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 59, Sec. 9. (SB 1474) Effective January 1, 2017.)

40801.
  

No peace officer or other person shall use a speed trap in arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, any person for any alleged violation of this code nor shall any speed trap be used in securing evidence as to the speed of any vehicle for the purpose of an arrest or prosecution under this code.

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

40802.
  

(a) A “speed trap” is either of the following:

(1) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

(2) A particular section of a highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within five years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects. This paragraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

(b) (1) For purposes of this section, a local street or road is one that is functionally classified as “local” on the “California Road System Maps,” that are approved by the Federal Highway Administration and maintained by the Department of Transportation. When a street or road does not appear on the “California Road System Maps,” it may be defined as a “local street or road” if it primarily provides access to abutting residential property and meets the following three conditions:

(A) Roadway width of not more than 40 feet.

(B) Not more than one-half of a mile of uninterrupted length. Interruptions shall include official traffic control signals as defined in Section 445.

(C) Not more than one traffic lane in each direction.

(2) For purposes of this section, “school zone” means that area approaching or passing a school building or the grounds thereof that is contiguous to a highway and on which is posted a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign, while children are going to or leaving the school either during school hours or during the noon recess period. “School zone” also includes the area approaching or passing any 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 if that highway is posted with a standard “SCHOOL” warning sign.

(c) (1) When all of the following criteria are met, paragraph (2) of this subdivision shall be applicable and subdivision (a) shall not be applicable:

(A) When radar is used, the arresting officer has successfully completed a radar operator course of not less than 24 hours on the use of police traffic radar, and the course was approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(B) When laser or any other electronic device is used to measure the speed of moving objects, the arresting officer has successfully completed the training required in subparagraph (A) and an additional training course of not less than two hours approved and certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training.

(C) (i) The prosecution proved that the arresting officer complied with subparagraphs (A) and (B) and that an engineering and traffic survey has been conducted in accordance with subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2). The prosecution proved that, prior to the officer issuing the notice to appear, the arresting officer established that the radar, laser, or other electronic device conformed to the requirements of subparagraph (D).

(ii) The prosecution proved the speed of the accused was unsafe for the conditions present at the time of alleged violation unless the citation was for a violation of Section 22349, 22356, or 22406.

(D) The radar, laser, or other electronic device used to measure the speed of the accused meets or exceeds the minimal operational standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and has been calibrated within the three years prior to the date of the alleged violation by an independent certified laser or radar repair and testing or calibration facility.

(2) A “speed trap” is either of the following:

(A) A particular section of a highway measured as to distance and with boundaries marked, designated, or otherwise determined in order that the speed of a vehicle may be calculated by securing the time it takes the vehicle to travel the known distance.

(B) (i) A particular section of a highway or state highway with a prima facie speed limit that is provided by this code or by local ordinance under paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 22352, or established under Section 22354, 22357, 22358, or 22358.3, if that prima facie speed limit is not justified by an engineering and traffic survey conducted within one of the following time periods, prior to the date of the alleged violation, and enforcement of the speed limit involves the use of radar or any other electronic device that measures the speed of moving objects:

(I) Except as specified in subclause (II), seven years.

(II) If an engineering and traffic survey was conducted more than seven years prior to the date of the alleged violation, and a registered engineer evaluates the section of the highway and determines that no significant changes in roadway or traffic conditions have occurred, including, but not limited to, changes in adjoining property or land use, roadway width, or traffic volume, 10 years.

(ii) This subparagraph does not apply to a local street, road, or school zone.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 397, Sec. 9. (SB 810) Effective January 1, 2018.)

40803.
  

(a) No evidence as to the speed of a vehicle upon a highway shall be admitted in any court upon the trial of any person in any prosecution under this code upon a charge involving the speed of a vehicle when the evidence is based upon or obtained from or by the maintenance or use of a speedtrap.

(b) In any prosecution under this code of a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, where enforcement involves the use of radar or other electronic devices which measure the speed of moving objects, the prosecution shall establish, as part of its prima facie case, that the evidence or testimony presented is not based upon a speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802.

(c) When a traffic and engineering survey is required pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802, evidence that a traffic and engineering survey has been conducted within five years of the date of the alleged violation or evidence that the offense was committed on a local street or road as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802 shall constitute a prima facie case that the evidence or testimony is not based upon a speedtrap as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 40802.

(Amended by Stats. 1996, Ch. 124, Sec. 147. Effective January 1, 1997.)

40804.
  

(a) In any prosecution under this code upon a charge involving the speed of a vehicle, an officer or other person shall be incompetent as a witness if the testimony is based upon or obtained from or by the maintenance or use of a speed trap.

(b)  An officer arresting, or participating or assisting in the arrest of, a person so charged while on duty for the exclusive or main purpose of enforcing the provisions of Divisions 10 (commencing with Section 20000) and 11 (commencing with Section 21000) is incompetent as a witness if at the time of that arrest he was not wearing a distinctive uniform, or was using a motor vehicle not painted the distinctive color specified by the commissioner.

(c) This section does not apply to an officer assigned exclusively to the duty of investigating and securing evidence in reference to the theft of a vehicle or failure of a person to stop in the event of an accident or violation of Section 23109 or 23109.1 or in reference to a felony charge or to an officer engaged in serving a warrant when the officer is not engaged in patrolling the highways for the purpose of enforcing the traffic laws.

(Amended by Stats. 2007, Ch. 682, Sec. 19. Effective January 1, 2008.)

40805.
  

Every court shall be without jurisdiction to render a judgment of conviction against any person for a violation of this code involving the speed of a vehicle if the court admits any evidence or testimony secured in violation of, or which is inadmissible under this article.

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

40806.
  

In the event a defendant charged with an offense under this code pleads guilty, the trial court shall not at any time prior to pronouncing sentence receive or consider any report, verbal or written, of any police or traffic officer or witness of the offense without fully informing the defendant of all statements in the report or statement of witnesses, or without giving the defendant an opportunity to make answer thereto or to produce witnesses in rebuttal, and for such purpose the court shall grant a continuance before pronouncing sentence if requested by the defendant.

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

40807.
  

No record of any action taken by the department against a person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle, nor any testimony regarding the proceedings at, or concerning, or produced at, any hearing held in connection with such action, shall be admissible as evidence in any court in any criminal action.

No provision of this section shall in any way limit the admissibility of such records or testimony as is necessary to enforce the provisions of this code relating to operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license or when the driving privilege is suspended or revoked, the admissibility of such records or testimony in any prosecution for failure to disclose any matter at such a hearing when required by law to do so, or the admissibility of such records and testimony when introduced solely for the purpose of impeaching the credibility of a witness.

(Added by Stats. 1977, Ch. 804.)

40808.
  

Subdivision (d) of Section 28 of Article I of the California Constitution shall not be construed as abrogating the evidentiary provisions of this article.

(Added by Stats. 1992, Ch. 538, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1993.)

VEHVehicle Code - VEH1.