CHP enforces turnout laws

California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Murawski cites a large truck on state highway 371 for violation of California’s turnout laws Monday, Aug. 19. Mike Murawski photo

California Highway Patrol officers were out in force in the Anza Valley Monday, Aug. 19.

Besides enforcing speeding and reckless driving violations on state highway 371, commercial vehicles that failed to use paved turnouts were also addressed.

Several commercial vehicles were cited for the violation of California Vehicle Code Section 21656, which states that vehicles must use marked turnouts when going slower than the safe flow of traffic and have at least five vehicles following. Passenger vehicles can also be cited, but no such violations were observed Monday.

“One truck had 15 vehicles following, another had 29 and another I stopped counting at 50 – after passing marked, paved turnouts. All were on state Route 371, with speeds between 20-30 miles per hour,” CHP Officer Mike Murawski said.

Failing to use turnouts leads to driver frustration, passing over double yellow lines, road rage and other unsafe conditions.

This truck fails to turn out for traffic, in violation of California’s turnout laws. Mike Murawski photo

According to California Vehicle Code 21656, “On a two-lane highway where passing is unsafe because of traffic in the opposite direction or other conditions, a slow-moving vehicle, including a passenger vehicle, behind which five or more vehicles are formed in line, shall turn off the roadway at the nearest place designated as a turnout by signs erected by the authority having jurisdiction over the highway, or wherever sufficient area for a safe turnout exists, in order to permit the vehicles following it to proceed. As used in this section a slow-moving vehicle is one which is proceeding at a rate of speed less than the normal flow of traffic at the particular time and place.”

“We are here enforcing this law, especially with the increased traffic with state Route 243 and 74 being closed,” Murawski said.

Diane Sieker can be reached by email at