Here's Where Brake Checking Is Illegal In California

By Logan DeLoye

July 28, 2022

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Photo: Getty Images

There are a handful cities in California that do not take lightly to brake checking. According to KTLA, there is a vehicle code that details brake checking to be against the law in some counties. If you are unfamiliar with brake checking, it is when one car taps their brakes in front of the other to let the car behind them know that they are getting too close. It almost exists as an unspoken signal to not get so close to the car in front of you, and some drivers do not appreciate it. In fact, it can be considered as "aggressive driving" in certain situations.

An email sent to FOX5 San Diego from State Highway Patrol Officer Hunter Gerber detailed the parameters of 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," a portion of the email read.

The California State Legislature's website mentions that a signal needs to be given from one driver to the next before speed is reduced to any degree. Though citations will vary by court, drivers who get pulled over for brake checking in San Diego County will likely have to pay a $238 fine.

Gerber recommended that drivers should avoid aggressive tendencies while operating a vehicle, and should not get too close to the car in front of them. Brake checking is illegal throughout most of California. To see if your county is exempt, check the California State Legislatures website.

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