Vehicle Code 22500 CVC is the California statute that makes it a parking violation for a vehicle owner to stop, park, or leave the vehicle in certain locations. Some of these areas include within an intersection, on a crosswalk, and within 15 feet of a fire station driveway.
Exceptions apply if a motorist commits an act to avoid another car or is following the direction of a police officer or traffic signal. A violation of this law is an infraction and is punishable by a parking ticket.
CVC 22500 states that “a person shall not stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle whether attended or unattended, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a peace officer or official traffic control device, in any of the following places: (a) within an intersection…(b) on a crosswalk…(c) between a safety zone and the adjacent right-hand curb [and] (d) within 15 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station.”
Examples of illegal acts
- a taxicab driver leaving the cab in a crosswalk in a residential area of California.
- parallel parking while the parked vehicle extends into an intersection.
- leaving a truck in front of a private residence, thereby obstructing the home’s driveway.
A person can use a legal defense to contest a parking citation under this State law. Common defenses include the motorist showing the city attorney that he/she was:
- following direction from the police or a traffic device,
- avoiding conflict with other traffic, and/or
- exempted from the law.
A traffic ticket for most offenses costs approximately $65.00. The DMV’s parking enforcement rules say that the majority of CVC 22500 violations do not result in a point on the motorist’s driving record.
This is fortunate because it helps avoid:
- the suspension of a person’s license,
- the revocation of the motorist’s driving privileges, or
- the DMV declaring the driver a negligent operator.
Our California personal injury and criminal defense attorneys will highlight the following in this article:
- 1. What is a parking violation under California Vehicle Code 22500?
- 2. Does a driver have to plead guilty to a ticket?
- 3. What are the penalties for breaking this law?
- 4. What happens if a motorist does not show up to a traffic hearing?
- 5. How does this statute impact a personal injury lawsuit in California?
- 6. Are there laws related to this code section?
1. What is a parking violation under California Vehicle Code 22500?
CVC 22500 says that it is a parking violation for a vehicle owner to stop, park, or leave his/her vehicle in certain locations. These locations include:
- within an intersection,
- on a crosswalk,
- between a safety zone and the adjacent right-hand curb (or within the area between the zone and the curb as may be indicated by a red curb),
- within 15 feet of a fire station driveway (the same though does not apply to a police department),
- in front of the driveway to private property or a public driveway,
- on a portion of a sidewalk, or with the body of the vehicle extending over a portion of the sidewalk,1
- on the roadway side of a vehicle that is parked (e.g., double parking),
- in a tunnel,
- in front of a sidewalk access ramp, and
- in a portion of a state highway that has been designated for the exclusive use of public transit buses.2
Note that nothing in this statute prohibits a person from legally parking within:
- a designated parking space, or
- spaces allowing for permit parking.
2. Does a driver have to plead guilty to a ticket?
A driver does not have to plead guilty to a parking or traffic citation.
In fact, traffic ticket lawyers use different legal strategies to challenge allegations of violating this statute. Some include showing that:
- the accused was following the direction of police officer or a traffic signal.
- the accused was trying to avoid conflict with other traffic.
- the defendant was exempted from the law.
2.1. Following direction from the police or a traffic signal
This statute says that a driver is not guilty of an offense if he/she violated the law while acting in compliance with:
- the directions of a police officer, or
- the demands of a traffic control device.3
A driver can always use either of these arguments as a valid defense. Perhaps, for example, a motorist had to stop in an intersection because a police officer signaled him/her to do so.
2.2. Avoiding conflict
The statute also says that a driver is not guilty of a parking violation if he/she violated the law to avoid conflict with other traffic. This means it is always a defense for an accused to say that his/her actions were necessary to avoid some type of traffic collision or accident.
2.3. Exempt from the law
Vehicle Code 22500 lists several exceptions to many of the areas it restricts drivers from:
- standing, or
- parking by.
For example, CVC 22500a states that it is unlawful for motorists to stop or park in an intersection. But the law then goes on to say that this act is permissible if done adjacent to curbs if allowed by local ordinances or local authorities.4
A defense to a parking citation, then, is for an accused to say that his/her actions fell into one of these exceptions.
3. What are the penalties for breaking this law?
A person that violates this statute is charged with an infraction.
The offender is also given a ticket. Most parking tickets under these laws cost around $65.00. This is the base cost, though, and the actual cost will be significantly higher as it includes:
- certain fees, and
Note that most violations do not result in any DMV points being placed against a motorist’s driver’s license.
4. What happens if a motorist does not show up to a traffic hearing?
A driver cannot ignore a traffic ticket and refuse or fail to show at a traffic hearing.
This is considered an additional crime, “failure to appear,” per Vehicle Code 40508 CVC.
A driver has to sign a written promise to appear in court if he/she is issued a traffic or parking ticket in California.
A party commits the offense of failure to appear if he/she willfully breaks this promise and does not show in court.5
The crime is charged as a misdemeanor and is punishable by:
5. How does this statute impact a personal injury lawsuit in California?
A motorist that violates this statute may do so while also causing an accident with another car. If so, and the other driver suffers injuries in the accident, he/she can later file a personal injury lawsuit against the motorist.
In this suit, the at-fault driver may be found “negligent.”
A negligent driver is responsible for compensating the injured party for any injuries he/she sustained.
Sometimes it is difficult to prove negligence. However, California law says that a driver is “negligent per se” if he/she caused an accident and was in violation of a statute.
In the context of CVC 22500, this means a driver would be negligent per se if he/she:
- caused an accident and injured another party, and
- was unlawfully stopping, standing, or parking.
6. Are there laws related to this code section?
There are three laws related to unlawfully stopping, standing, or parking. These are:
- a vehicle having an excessive length – CVC 35400,
- failure to yield when making a left turn or a U-turn – CVC 21801, and
- disobeying a sign, signal, or traffic control device – CVC 38300.
6.1. Vehicle with excessive length – CVC 35400
Vehicle Code 35400 CVC is the California statute that regulates the lengths of vehicles. The code section states that a motor vehicle cannot exceed an overall length of 40 feet.
As with Vehicle Code 22500, however, there are many exceptions to this law.
6.2. Failure to yield when making a left turn or a U-turn – CVC 21801
Vehicle Code 21801 CVC is the California statute that applies when a driver is turning left or making a U-turn to the left and is facing oncoming traffic.
The law says that a motorist here must yield the right-of-way to any approaching traffic.
Unlike an unlawful parking ticket, a violation of this law results in one DMV point on the offender’s driving record.
6.3. Disobeying a sign, signal, or traffic control device – CVC 38300
Vehicle Code 38300 CVC is the California statute that makes it an offense for a driver to disobey any:
- traffic sign,
- signal, or
- traffic control device.
Some examples of “signs, signals, and devices” are:
- stop signs,
- no parking signs, and
- do not enter signs.
A traffic ticket for violating this law costs about the same as a ticket for violating CVC 22500.
- See Victor v. Hedges (1999) 77 Cal. App. 4th 229.
- California Vehicle Code 22500 CVC.
- See same.
- California Vehicle Code 22500a CVC.
- California Vehicle Code 40508 VC.
- California Penal Code 19 PC.