California Motor Vehicle Code 21654
Slow Moving Vehicles
California Vehicle Code 21654 is applicable to slow moving vehicles other than bicycles, such as cars and trucks. California Vehicle Code section 21654 states that all slow moving vehicles must stay as close to the right side of the roadway as possible while driving slower than other cars and trucks on the road. This law is intended to provide a safe and pleasant traveling experience for all persons using California roadways.
There are exceptions to this rule. If you are passing vehicles moving slower than you, you can pass them in the left lane, and then return to the right lane as soon as it is safe to do so. Also, if you are preparing for a left hand turn you should not remain in the far right lane.
If you are passing a slower moving vehicle, you should return to the far right lane as soon as it is safe to do so, if you are still traveling slower than other traffic on the road. Often drivers will get into the left lane to pass and then forget to return to the right lane. The exception for passing slower vehicles only applies while you are immediately passing them. You cannot get pulled over several miles down the road and use the excuse that you pulled into the left lane to pass someone.
If you are preparing for a left hand turn, you must signal your intentions to other drivers. Use your turn signals and follow all safety precautions. Once the turn has been completed, you must return to the far right hand lane again if you are driving slower than traffic moving in your new direction. Traveling in the far right lane applies to slow moving traffic on all roads where there is more than one lane moving in the same direction.
Many jurisdictions will place signs on roadways to signal slower drivers to move to the right lanes of the road. The law still applies, however, even if there are no signs on the road. Drivers are responsible to know the traffic laws, and lack of reminder signs will not be an acceptable excuse to avoid a traffic ticket. It will also not relieve you of liability if you were to cause an accident by driving slower than everyone else on the roads.
By following this traffic law, and considering the safety of both yourself and others, the streets can be an enjoyable place for everyone using them.