City Attorney’s Office finally clarifies CVC 21202(a)

CVC 21202. Photo by Njord Noatun
CVC 21202. Photo by Njord Noatun

Last Friday, Andrew Woolley received the response from the City Attorney’s office. As Kathy Keehan, Executive Director of the SDCBC says, the City Attorney has finally taken a formal position on CVC 21202 (a).

This reversal comes after a Traffic Court Judge stated that Woolley should have been riding along the right lane curb. This was due to a mistaken understanding, or rather a lack of understanding, regarding the two applicable exceptions:

(1) When overtaking and passing another bicycle or vehicle proceeding in the same direction.

(3) When reasonably necessary to avoid conditions (including, but not limited to, fixed or moving objects, vehicles, bicycles, pedestrians, animals, surface hazards, or substandard width lanes) that make it unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge, subject to the provisions of Section 21656. For purposes of this section, a “substandard width lane” is a lane that is too narrow for a bicycle and a vehicle to travel safely side by side within the lane.

The ruling was reversed by the City Attorney because Woolley was riding at a speed greater than traffic. The Judge had made his ruling based on what the posted speed limit was on El Cajon Boulevard (35 mph), not based on what the speed of traffic on the road actually was at the time of the incident.

Now that the law has been clarified, Woolley is in the process of trying to figure out how to go about actually collecting the $165 fine he had to pay when originally cited.

We have not heard of other bicyclists either in the City of San Diego or in the county getting improperly ticketed for violating CVC 21202. If you have been cited, please do contact us.