Vehicle Code 22500 CVC is the California statute that makes it a parking violation for a vehicle owner to
- park, or
- leave the vehicle in certain locations.
Some of these areas include within an
- 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.
We will quote the full language of the code section, and then provide further analysis below:
22500. 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, except adjacent to curbs as may be permitted by local ordinance.
(b) On a crosswalk, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier or a taxicab may stop in an unmarked crosswalk to load or unload passengers when authorized by the legislative body of a city pursuant to an ordinance.
(c) 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 sign or red paint on the curb, which sign or paint was erected or placed by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.
(d) Within 15 feet of the driveway entrance to a fire station. This subdivision does not apply to any vehicle owned or operated by a fire department and clearly marked as a fire department vehicle.
(e) (1) In front of a public or private driveway, except that a bus engaged as a common carrier, schoolbus, or a taxicab may stop to load or unload passengers when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.
(2) In unincorporated territory, where the entrance of a private road or driveway is not delineated by an opening in a curb or by other curb construction, so much of the surface of the ground as is paved, surfaced, or otherwise plainly marked by vehicle use as a private road or driveway entrance, shall constitute a driveway.
(f) On a portion of a sidewalk, or with the body of the vehicle extending over a portion of a sidewalk, except electric carts when authorized by local ordinance, as specified in Section 21114.5. Lights, mirrors, or devices that are required to be mounted upon a vehicle under this code may extend from the body of the vehicle over the sidewalk to a distance of not more than 10 inches.
(g) Alongside or opposite a street or highway excavation or obstruction when stopping, standing, or parking would obstruct traffic.
(h) On the roadway side of a vehicle stopped, parked, or standing at the curb or edge of a highway, except for a schoolbus when stopped to load or unload pupils in a business or residence district where the speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.
(i) Except as provided under Section 22500.5, alongside curb space authorized for the loading and unloading of passengers of a bus engaged as a common carrier in local transportation when indicated by a sign or red paint on the curb erected or painted by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance.
(j) In a tube or tunnel, except vehicles of the authorities in charge, being used in the repair, maintenance, or inspection of the facility.
(k) Upon a bridge, except vehicles of the authorities in charge, being used in the repair, maintenance, or inspection of the facility, and except that buses engaged as a common carrier in local transportation may stop to load or unload passengers upon a bridge where sidewalks are provided, when authorized by local authorities pursuant to an ordinance, and except that local authorities pursuant to an ordinance or the Department of Transportation pursuant to an order, within their respective jurisdictions, may permit parking on bridges having sidewalks and shoulders of sufficient width to permit parking without interfering with the normal movement of traffic on the roadway. Local authorities, by ordinance or resolution, may permit parking on these bridges on state highways in their respective jurisdictions if the ordinance or resolution is first approved in writing by the Department of Transportation. Parking shall not be permitted unless there are signs in place, as may be necessary, to indicate the provisions of local ordinances or the order of the Department of Transportation.
(l) In front of or upon that portion of a curb that has been cut down, lowered, or constructed to provide wheelchair accessibility to the sidewalk.
(m) In a portion of a highway that has been designated for the exclusive use of public transit buses.
Examples of violations
- 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 auto accident 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 a 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.