Is 'brake checking' a tailgater legal in California?

SAN DIEGO — It’s a scenario commonly experienced on roadways: a driver from behind gets too close to one’s bumper, potentially resulting in feelings of anger or nervousness.

These emotions can lead the driver to try and get the following driver to slow down. “brake checking.”However, it is important to think twice before driving. It could lead to a serious offense.

California Highway Patrol Officer Hunter Gerber said in an email to that brake checking may be under the jurisdiction of California Highway Patrol. California Vehicle Code 22400 (a). According to the California State Legislature, under this law, “No person shall drive upon a highway at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic unless the reduced speed is necessary for safe operation, because of a grade, or in compliance with law.”

Brake checking along with tailgating is aggressive driving. “performed deliberately and with ill intention or disregard for the safety of others and are commonly referred to as road rage,” Gerber says.

He said, “He added that.” “to intentionally apply your brakes because somebody is tailgating you”Could be considered a violation California Vehicle Code 22109.

“No person shall stop or suddenly decrease the speed of a vehicle on a highway without first giving an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter to the driver of any vehicle immediately to the rear when there is opportunity to give the signal,”The law can be found on the website of the California State Legislature.

A driver pulled over in San Diego County for failing to check brakes in violation of vehicle code 22400a can be subject to up $238 in fines. Emily Cox, a spokeswoman at San Diego County Superior Court, told via email that the fines could reach $238. Fees may also vary from one court to another.

CHP suggests that drivers be calm and polite in order to lessen the chances of becoming involved in a collision with another driver. Drivers are reminded by CHP to:

  • Maintain adequate following distance;
  • Use turn signals;
  • Let others merge.
  • High beams should be used with care
  • Tap your horn when necessary (but don’t use long blasts that are accompanied by hand gestures).

Gerber said that drivers should not react to or retaliate when another driver is agitating them. That will only lead to an escalated situation. These are Gerber’s tips:

  • Avoid eye contact when you see angry drivers.
  • Don’t respond to aggression by being aggressive
  • Keep your distance;
  • If possible, have passengers take pictures of the incident.
  • You should have an escape plan.
  • If an aggressive driver is following you, do not drive home.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you feel at risk and then drive to a station.
  • Keep calm and be polite when you are confronted.
  • Call 9-1-1 if you feel threatened. Please be ready to provide the following information: Name of driver, vehicle, plate number, location, and direction.


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