California Motor Vehicle Code 21752

Driving on Left Prohibited

California Vehicle Code 21752 makes it illegal to drive on the left side of the road under certain circumstances. Don't assume this means you can drive on the left side of the road at other times. Driving on the left side of the road is only legal is you are passing other cars, or if you are avoiding road hazards.

Other vehicle codes address driving on the left to pass cars when driving in the mountains. This law is for rural roads that are infrequently traveled. You can never drive on the left side of the road if you can't see at least 100 feet in front of you. This includes going around curves or over the crest of a hill. If you can't see, you have no idea if there is anything blocking the left side of the road ahead.

According to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, the majority of roadway fatalities occur on rural roads. Rural roads account for only around 40 percent of vehicle travel but lodge nearly 57 percent of all fatalities. Approximately 15,000 people die each year on rural roads. Play it safe and stay to the right when you can't see what's coming.

You never want to cross over the middle of the road, even a small distance, if you can't see what's ahead of you. This is especially true near bridges and railroad crossings, where getting into an accident could be deadly. If you drive left of center you can be ticketed. The fines will cost between $150 and $300 for your first offense. Fines vary according to the dangerousness of the situation.