Ask the Motor Cop | Cutting through a gas station: OK or no? 


Question: Hi Jerry. My name is Clayton and I have a silly question to ask you. Can I cut through a gas station to avoid turning right at the intersection ahead? 

— Clayton 

Answer: Hi Clayton. We used to have a lot of fun with this one in traffic school. As a matter of fact, that was one of the questions on a quiz I would give my students.  

The answer is yes you can, but let’s make sure that this is totally understood. There would be no violation if the driver signaled properly for the last 100 feet prior to entering the driveway and from the proper right lane. Then, did not speed on private property and yielded the right of way to all vehicles approaching on the other roadway before entering. It’s not considered trespassing because it is private property open to the public. Nothing in the California Vehicle Code prohibits it. 

For that matter, a driver could say, “I pulled in to the gas station and realized that the prices here are way too high and decided to go elsewhere.”  

Or, “I just realized that I forgot my credit card.”  

No excuses are necessary.  

Let’s talk about your second question. This one would usually come up in traffic school: “Can I drive in bare feet?” 

Yes, it is legal, contrary to common belief by many Californians that it is an offense. There are no federal or state laws against driving without shoes or socks on your feet. Somehow, I believe that driving in bare feet might be a tad safer than some of these ladies wearing high heels or someone with flip-flops or even clogs.  

Thanks, Clayton, for reading and responding with your great questions.  

Drive carefully. 

Jerry Schlund, a Santa Clarita Valley resident, is a retired Los Angeles Police Department motor officer with over 24 years riding. He was a certified radar instructor — both laser and doppler — and was instrumental in California vehicle code amendments. He was a traffic school instructor for 25 years. Have a question for the motor cop? Send your questions to [email protected]    

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