California Traffic Violations—and the Fines You Get for Breaking Them

by sem on May 8, 2013

California Traffic Violations

Most people know the laws against driving while on a cell phone, running a red light, excessive speeding, and driving under the influence (DUI). But there are many other laws that are frequently broken. Perhaps if people understood these laws, and more importantly, the fines that come with breaking them, they wouldn’t be disregarded as much. The following is a list of lesser-known traffic violations California drivers get—and the fines that come with them.

The Seat Belt Law:


THE FINE: $148

This one is pretty straightforward: According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, everyone is required to wear a safety belt: driver, passenger, child, everyone. No, two people may not share a safety belt. No, you cannot just wear the lap belt part. If you have a pickup truck, the only way you can transport people in the cargo area is if it’s equipped with federally-approved after-market seats and safety belts. If you’re pregnant, congratulations—but you still have to buckle up (put the belt under your stomach).

The only exception is if you happen to have a health problem that would otherwise prohibit you from wearing a seatbelt. I can’t for the life of me think of an example, but if you have a doctor’s note that explains your problem, well then, I guess you win.

The Headsets/Earplugs Law:


THE FINE: $178

 Driving is an activity that utilizes 3 of the 5 senses. Obviously you need to see where you’re going, and feel the wheel, but you also need to hear what’s going on. In California, neither drivers nor bikers are allowed to have two earphones in at the same time. One is fine, but using two blocks too much noise that could be crucial to your safety. For example: an ambulance siren, the whistle of an oncoming train, or a pedestrian saying, “Aah! Please don’t run me over!”

The only exceptions to the law are:

  • A person operating an authorized emergency vehicle
  • Highway maintenance construction workers operating special equipment
  • Garbage collectors wearing noise mufflers
  • People wearing harmful noise diffusers
  • People wearing hearing aids

Disabled Parking Spot Violation


THE FINE: $976 ($1876 for second offense)

We’ve all been there: You’re late, you pull into the parking lot, and there’s nothing. Not an open spot in sight. You creep up and down the aisles to no avail, maybe even do that thing where you follow someone walking back to their car, only to find out that they aren’t actually leaving, they were just putting something into the trunk (seriously, people do that and it’s infuriating).

And then you see it: A single, solitary open space, ripe for the picking.

You zoom down the aisle, and throw on your blinker, but then you see that telltale blue logo of a guy in a wheelchair. It’s a disabled parking spot.

What then? Do you try to calculate how long you’ll be in the store, versus the likelihood of a police officer spotting your infraction?

Let me stop you right there. Do you have $1000 to burn? Of course you don’t. Bite the bullet and park on the street, or across the street, or down the street. Because not only is stealing a disabled parking spot incredibly lame, it’s expensive to boot!

If you find yourself having to look up information like this, you should consider taking California online traffic school course. Better to be familiar with the law, than ticketed for not knowing!

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