From the oldies but goodies file, here’s a question that still has traction. Several times a month we get similar questions from Road Warrior readers. This answer was posted Jan. 14, 2012.
Question: This is a situation that I see all the time in Sonoma County. I think there’s potential risk either way. I’m curious what the legal answer is to this: There’s a car in front of you turning left, waiting for oncoming traffic to clear. The road is two lane with an ample shoulder. Can you (the car waiting behind) after checking for any other hazards, pull around the stopped car in front of you? — Sally
The answer comes from CHP Officer Jon Sloat, spokesman for the local office:
By the letter of the law, it is a violation to use the shoulder (21755.) The section reads that you may safely pass on the right, but “in no event shall that movement be made by driving off of the paved or main-traveled portion of the roadway.” If you are to the right of the white line, you are off of the main traveled portion and could possibly be cited.