New California Traffic Laws for 2019

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As we have all started writing 2019 instead of 2018 for the last month, lawmakers have rolled out new traffic laws that might have an impact on cyclists, motorists, minors, scooter riders, DUI offenders and other California motorists.

Here are the new laws and what they might require you to do:

AB 516

Sponsored by South San Francisco Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, automobile dealers of both used and new vehicles must attach temporary license plates to vehicles that are sold that do not have plates issued by the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

AB 544

Sponsored by Richard Bloom, the Democratic Assemblyman from Alameda, this law allows zero-emission vehicles to use the carpool lanes even if they are occupied by only one person. In order to take advantage of this law, you will need to purchase a clean air vehicle decal from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

AB 1274

Sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Patrick O’Donnell of Long Beach, this bill affects people who drive vehicles that are up to eight years. The bill expands the exemption for smog checks from vehicles up to six years old to vehicles up to eight years old. The fee for the exemption will be $25 for vehicles that are seven or eight years old and $20 for vehicles that are six years old or newer.

AB 1755

Sponsored by former Republican Assemblyman Marc Steinorth of Rancho Cucamonga, this law extends the felony hit and run law in California to include cyclists who leave the scenes of accidents on bicycle paths. Cyclists who have crashes with others on bicycle paths must remain at the scene of the accident. If they leave, they may face felony charges if the accident resulted in an injury or the death of another person.

AB 1824

Sponsored by the Assembly Committee on Budget, this law mandates a fine for an excessively loud muffler on a motorcycle or motor vehicle. In the past, motorists who violate the law could correct the issue to avoid paying the fine.

AB 1925

Sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Stephen Choi of Irvine, the Department of Motor Vehicles will now be required to include one or more questions on the drivers’ examinations about the proper securement of loads. This would include the importance of securing loose items such as ladders and buckets.

AB 2115

Sponsored by Michael Santiago, the Democratic Assemblyman from Los Angeles, this law imposes a duty on motorists when they approach garbage collection vehicles that have their amber lights turned on. Motorists are required to get into the adjacent lane to pass the garbage trucks at a safe distance or to slow to a reasonable and prudent speed if they are unable to pull into the adjacent lane.

AB 2685

Sponsored by Tom Lackey, the Republican Assemblyman from Palmdale this law maintains that judges are not allowed to suspend the driving privileges of minors because of truancy. Previously, the juvenile court was able to suspend or restrict the ability of chronically truant minors for up to a year.

AB 2989

Sponsored by Republican Assemblyman Heath Flora of Ripon, this law removes the requirement for scooter riders to wear helmets if they are older than age 18. Under this law, people are not able to operate motorized scooters on roads with speed limits of more than 35 mph or on highways with speed limits of more than 25 mph. However, people may operate scooters on roads with higher speed limits as long as they do so within marked bikeways.

AB 3077

Sponsored by former Democratic Assemblywoman Anna Caballero of Salinas, law enforcement officers are granted the authority to issue tickets to minors who are younger than age 18 who are riding on bicycles, skates, or skateboards without wearing helmets. In order to correct the ticket, the minors must get helmets that comply with safety standards within 120 days and complete a safety course.

SB 169

Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Toni Atkins of San Diego this law permits people to self-identify their preferred gender category when they apply for drivers’ licenses. People who identify as non-binary will have the designation appear as an X.

SB 1046

Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, this law deals with the installation of ignition interlock devices on vehicles of repeat DUI offenders. People who are convicted of a first DUI offense in which they caused injuries are also required to install ignition interlock devices under the law. Previously, this law had existed in Los Angeles, Alameda, Sacramento, and Tulare as a pilot program. Since Gov. Jerry Brown signed it into law, the act will now apply statewide. Drivers will be eligible to get restricted licenses as soon as they have ignition interlock devices installed in their vehicles rather than having to wait through a previously mandatory 30-day suspension period.

If you have questions about these new laws and how they might affect you, call us now at 1-877-241-9554 to learn more about your legal options. A free consultation is just a phone call away.

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