CACI No. 1121. Failure to Provide Traffic Warning Signals, Signs, or Markings (Gov. Code, § 830.8)

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2023 edition)

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1121.Failure to Provide Traffic Warning Signals, Signs, or
Markings (Gov. Code, § 830.8)
A public entity is not responsible for harm caused by the lack of a [insert
relevant warning device] unless a reasonably careful person would not
notice or anticipate a dangerous condition of property without the [insert
relevant warning device].
New September 2003
Sources and Authority
No Liability for Failure to Provide Traffic Control. Government Code section
“Section 830.8 provides a limited immunity for public entities exercising their
discretion in the placement of warning signs described in the Vehicle Code. ‘The
broad discretion allowed a public entity in the placement of road control signs is
limited, however, by the requirement that there be adequate warning of
dangerous conditions not reasonably apparent to motorists.’ Thus where the
failure to post a warning sign results in a concealed trap for those exercising due
care, section 830.8 immunity does not apply.” (Kessler v. State of California
(1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 317, 321-322 [253 Cal.Rptr. 537], internal citations
“[A] concealed dangerous condition that is a trap to motorists or pedestrians may
require the posting of a warning sign but the absence of a warning sign itself is
not a dangerous condition.” (Mixon v. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (2012) 207
Cal.App.4th 124, 136 [142 Cal.Rptr.3d 633].)
“A public entity may be liable for accidents proximately caused by its failure to
provide a signal, sign, marking or device to warn of a dangerous condition
which endangers the safe movement of traffic ‘and which would not be
reasonably apparent to, and would not have been anticipated by, a person
exercising due care.’ This ‘concealed trap’ statute applies to accidents
proximately caused when, for example, the public entity fails to post signs
warning of a sharp or poorly banked curve ahead on its road or of a hidden
intersection behind a promontory, or where a design defect in the roadway
causes moisture to freeze and create an icy road surface, a fact known to the
public entity but not to unsuspecting motorists, or where road work is being
performed on a highway.” (Chowdhury v. City of Los Angeles (1995) 38
Cal.App.4th 1187, 1196-1197 [45 Cal.Rptr.2d 657], internal citations omitted.)
“[W]arning devices are required under Government Code section 830.8 and 830
(fog) only if a dangerous condition exists.” (Callahan v. City and County of San
Francisco (1971) 15 Cal.App.3d 374, 380 [93 Cal.Rptr. 122].)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, §§ 316, 317
2 California Government Tort Liability Practice (Cont.Ed.Bar 4th ed.)
§§ 12.76-12.79
5 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 61, Particular Liabilities and Immunities of
Public Entities and Public Employees, § 61.03[4] (Matthew Bender)
40 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 464, Public Entities and Offıcers:
California Government Claims Act, § 464.85 (Matthew Bender)
19A California Points and Authorities, Ch. 196, Public Entities, §§ 196.12, 196.304
(Matthew Bender)

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