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California Motor Vehicle Code 21656

Slow Moving Vehicle Turnouts

From time to time, we all encounter slow moving vehicles on rural roads. These vehicles are allowed on the roads, but according to California Vehicle Code 21656, the drivers must maintain some common courtesy and allow faster moving cars and trucks to pass.

If you are driving a farm tractor, buggy, bike or other slower moving vehicle on a small two-lane road and notice a long line of cars forming behind you, you are required to pull off the road and allow cars to pass you. This is especially true if you are in an area where it is unsafe for cars to pass you on the left side of the road.

Only pull off the road in designated turnouts or where it is otherwise safe to do so. Designated turnouts are special sections of road designed to give slow moving cars a place to get off the roadway and allow others to pass. Usually these turnouts are indicated by special signs that read "Slower Traffic Use Turnouts."

If there are five or more cars behind you, then you must pull off the road and allow them to pass. This makes driving safe for the drivers behind you who are anxious to pass and makes you a more polite and courteous driver.

This law is designed to ease traffic congestion in rural areas and keep the roads safe for everyone using them. It also helps to eliminate road rage by drivers who may be stuck on long windy roads behind drivers who may travel slower than the normal flow of traffic.

A slow moving vehicle is any car, bus, farm equipment, bicycle or other vehicle that is operating slower than the normal flow of traffic. There is no set speed to determine if you are a slow moving vehicle. If you are traveling at a speed slower than the rest of traffic on the roadway, and if you notice a line of cars behind you who look anxious to pass, then you are a slow moving vehicle and you must get out of the way as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you are riding behind a slow moving vehicle, be sure to take extra safety precautions when passing. Only pass one vehicle at a time, give a small toot of your horn to announce your presence, and get back into the driving lane as soon as it is safe to do so.

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