California Motor Vehicle Code 21800

Intersections

California Vehicle Code 21800 lets drivers know the proper way to yield when approaching various intersections. Many drivers are confused as to who has the right-of-way at intersections. This law is designed to eliminate that confusion.

First, if you are on a highway and approaching an on-ramp, you should yield the right-of-way to cars entering from a different highway. This does not mean to stop or pull over. Just do your best to speed up or slow down to allow enough room for the approaching car to enter the highway safely.

When approaching a four way stop where there are two roads intersecting, the person on the right shall have the right of way. Only yield to the person on the right if you have both approached the stop at the same time. If you get to the intersection at different times, the car arriving first gets to go first, regardless of their location.

If you come to a T-intersection, the person on the straight thru street goes first. The car that is on the ending street must yield to drivers on the continuous street. This applies to three-way stops as well.

If you approach in intersection with a non-working traffic light, you must treat the intersection as though it were a four-way stop. Everyone approaching an intersection where the traffic light is not working, must stop and yield the right-of-way to the car on your immediate right. Many drivers ignore this rule, and it ends in an accident. Make sure to stop any time you see a light that has stopped working.

This law does not apply to any of the following situations:

  1. An intersection with a working traffic signal
  2. An intersection with a Yield Right-of-Way sign
  3. When vehicles approach an intersection from opposite directions and one driver is intending to turn left.