When do drivers get a pass to cross the double yellow lines?

Q: We’ve used the Chevron gas station at Meridian and Fruitdale in San Jose for gas and the car wash.

After repaving and restriping, Fruitdale now has two sets of double yellow lines, within 2 feet of each other. The DMV manual says to consider that a barrier, meaning: don’t cross it!

Legal or not, people do it daily!

If the people who painted these stripes knew what they were doing, how can we get signs saying NO LEFT TURN? A sign is needed for people leaving the gas station and one for those who would try to enter the station from westbound Fruitdale.

We haven’t seen anyone get pulled over, but knowing our luck, we would be the ones!

We solved the problem for us and don’t buy gas or wash our cars there now.

I’m just trying to be a good citizen and need clarification on the striping. I would like your advice as to who I should reach out to.

Occasionally, there are a few police cars in the church parking lot across the street and I’ve been tempted to ask them. My husband said they are busy and that I should ask you. We do read your Q&A daily.

Linda Macchi

A: And…

Q: I have a question about crossing the double yellow lines on urban streets.

Crossing double yellow lines is, in most cases, dangerous. However, many times on urban streets, drivers encounter various situations and briefly cross the double yellow lines.

The CA Driver’s Handbook states: “Do not pass over double solid yellow lines. Stay to the right of these lines unless you are … instructed by construction or other signs to drive on the other side of the road because your side of the road is closed or blocked.”

Here are some situations that I observed where drivers crossed the double yellow lines:

  • To allow the required 3 feet when passing a bicyclist (or a gaggle of bicyclists).
  • To get around a double-parked delivery truck with blinking four-way flashers and the driver off somewhere delivering packages.
  • To pass a garbage truck lifting and dumping apartments’ trash cans.

My observation is that most drivers will look to see if there is oncoming traffic or a law enforcement vehicle, and carefully and safely cross the double yellow lines to pass.

Would these drivers be cited, or given a pass to pass?

Larry Bieber, Castro Valley

A: The DMV has told me in the past that you can cross over double yellow lines to drive into a driveway or parking lot, but you cannot cross them to try to get ahead of vehicles in your lane.

Look for Gary Richards at or contact him at

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