Know the Road with the CHP: Is it legal to "brake check" the car behind you?

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An ABC30 viewer wanted to know: if someone is tailgating me, is it legal for me to pump on my brakes to get them to back off?

"Oftentimes, what happens is the driver who is tailgating the person in front of them is doing so knowingly in hopes that that person gets out of their way because they want to proceed at a faster pace than which the vehicle is traveling," said Sgt. Brian Pennings with the California Highway Patrol.

"To intentionally apply your brakes because somebody is tailgating you could be a violation of 22109, which is known as brake checking. Sometimes this will lead to an aggressive confrontation known as road rage."

"So the best thing to do if somebody is tailgating is to just move over and allow them to proceed down the road, rather than engaging them, which could lead to a confrontation," Pennings said.

For other answers from the CHP, go to abc30.com/knowtheroad.

If you have a question about the rules of the road, fill out the form below for a chance to be featured on Know the Road with the CHP.

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