California Motor Vehicle Code 21753

Yield Passing Cars on Freeways and California Roadways

California Vehicle Code 21753 states that the driver of a vehicle must safely move to the right side of the highway when they are being passed. You must move over when you hear the horn sound or see flashing lights from the overtaking car. You also must not increase your speed until you have been completely passed by the overtaking car or truck. The only exception to this rule is when you are on a road where passing on the right side is permitted. Then you can stay in your lane and maintain your present speed.

You should never force a passing auto to use the shoulder in order to get around you. This is dangerous for both drivers. The overtaking car could accidentally drive off the edge of the roadway and crash. The driver could also overcorrect when pulling back into the road and cause both of you to crash.

According to this rule, you cannot speed up to get out of the way of the passing vehicle. Many people who go to court to claim they had to speed up temporarily to pass the car in front of them, just so they can get out of the way of the oncoming car that was flashing its lights. This is common on freeways. Driving above the posted speed limit is illegal, and you will still be ticketed. Watch for others and stay safe.