The New Year is just around the corner, and this means there are a number of new laws that will take effect, come Jan. 1. There are a few laws that will particularly affect drivers in California. Here are some new laws that will affect motorists and vehicle owners in the Golden State.
New Distracted Driving Law
Despite leading the nation with stringent distracted driving laws, the problem of distracted driving continues to plague our state. On Jan. 1, 2020, yet another new law will go into effect, one which legislators hope will curb distracted driving. Under this new law, which was passed in 2019, a point would be against your driving record, if you are convicted of using a hand-held wireless communication device – basically a cell phone – while driving without being hands-free.
Previously, such as conviction did not bring a point against one’s driving record. The new law makes it clear that drivers will receive a point against their driving record if found guilty of violating California’s hands-free law within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense, beginning July 1, 2012. The California Highway Patrol and AAA sponsored this law.
Law Relating to Trash Trucks
A new law also says that if you are approaching or passing a stopped garbage truck, you have to change lanes into an available lane next to the truck, and pass at a safe distance, while considering the traffic conditions around you.
The new law states, “The driver of a vehicle on a public street or highway approaching and overtaking a stopped waste service vehicle shall make a lane change into an available lane adjacent to the waste service vehicle and shall pass at a safe distance without interfering with the safe operation of the waste service vehicle, with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not prohibited by law.”
Other Laws Going into Effect
Here is a quick list of some of the other laws that will affect drivers:
- A new law makes it illegal to sell, or offer for sale, an appointment with the DMV. Everyone has to wait his or her turn.
- A new law removes motorized scooters from the list of vehicles requiring a Class M2 license or permit. So, those who hold a valid driver’s license or permit of any class can operate a motorized scooter as of Jan. 1.
- Another new law taking effect eliminates the authority of the courts to suspend, revoke, restrict or order the DMV to delay the driving privilege of someone convicted of prostitution, vandalism or other non-driving offenses.
We hope these new laws make California’s roads safer and easier to use for motorists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other users. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, please contact an experienced California car accident lawyer to better understand your legal rights and options.