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New Year Brings New Laws for California Drivers

New Year Brings New Laws for California Drivers

2018 is ushering in a number of new laws for California motorists. Come Jan. 1, there are several laws that will go into effect, which drivers should know about. Here is a list of the new laws that will go into effect on Jan. 1 or July 1, 2018 that could have an impact on California motorists.

Marijuana use in vehicles: This is a law that prohibits the smoking or ingesting of marijuana or marijuana products while driving or traveling as a passenger in a vehicle. This law comes after California voters in November 2016 voted to legalize the use of recreational marijuana statewide. Medical marijuana has already been legal in the state. This law helps lay down the rules for marijuana use and driving. A state vehicle code also prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. However, this law, clarifies that neither drivers nor passengers can use any form of marijuana in a vehicle.

Motorcycle training courses: This new law will authorize the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to accept a certificate of satisfactory completion of any motorcycle training programs approved by the California Highway Patrol in lieu of the required motorcycle skills test. Training is not just a requirement but it provides motorcyclists with the skills and knowledge necessary to remain safe while on the road.

Seat belts for bus passengers: This law, to become effective on July 1, 2018, will require a passenger on a bus equipped with seatbelts to be properly restrained by a safety belt. This is a critical requirement for bus passengers, which could help save lives. We already know that safety belts in cars and other passenger vehicles reduce risk of severe injuries and deaths significantly. Now, bus passengers in California will also have an opportunity to be protected by safety belts during bus travel.

 Rideshare Vehicles and DUIs: Effective July 1, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger for hire is in the vehicle at the time of the offense. This makes it illegal for drivers of rideshare vehicles such as Uber and Lyft to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.04 percent or higher, which is the legal limit for commercial drivers who transport other passengers for hire.

Our California personal injury lawyers hope that these laws enhance road safety for all Californians and help bring down the number of traffic accident injuries and fatalities in 2018 and onward.


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