New California Laws That Will Affect Drivers

Here are some new traffic laws in California effective on January 1st 2020.  Please drive safely!


2021 Distracted Driving Law Highlighted

CHP also highlighted one law that was passed this year but does not go into effect until July 1, 2021. That’s Assembly Bill 47, which will further penalize distracted drivers by adding a point to their license for using a handheld device while behind the wheel.

When the law goes into effect, drivers convicted of violating the state’s hands-free law could receive a point on their record for the subsequent 36 months.


Bicyclists at Turn Lanes

Under Assembly Bill 1266, bicyclists will be permitted to travel straight through turn lanes — right and left — at intersections, so long as the traffic light indicates such movement is allowed. Caltrans will develop the standards to implement the provisions, as required by the law.


Training for Use of Deadly Force Policies 

As AB 392 takes effect,  Senate Bill 230 mandates law enforcement agencies rewrite use of force policies and provide officers with mandatory training in order to comply with the new law.


Passengers Prohibited From Consuming Cannabis 

Assembly Bill 1820 ends an exemption that allowed passengers to consume marijuana while in a bus, limousine, taxi, pedicab, housecar or camper. While passengers in any of those vehicles will no longer be able to ingest cannabis, they will still be able to drink alcohol.

Another provision in the same bill authorizes motor carriers of property to operate for up to 30 days past the permit’s expiration date under some circumstances.


New California Laws For That Will Affect Drivers Here is a list of updates to California laws that all drivers should note:

    • AB 2020: A person arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, officers gave the option of either a urine test or a blood test.
    • AB 45: Bus and limousine drivers will be held responsible for telling all underage passengers that drinking alcohol is illegal. If alcohol is being transported in a bus or limousine with underage passengers on board, a person at least 25 years old must be on board to ensure there is no underage consumption.
    • AB 1888: The law will allow a driver with a commercial license who has committed a traffic offense to attend traffic violator school, thus preventing them from getting a point on their license.
    • AB 1536: It will be legal to send and receive text messages with hands-free devices powered by voice-operated software.
    • AB 1708: Drivers will have the right to show proof of insurance on a smart phone or tablet when pulled over.
    • AB 2405: Cars with Clean Air Vehicle stickers will be allowed to use High Occupancy Toll lanes.
    • SB 1298: Self-driving cars will be allowed on public roads for testing purposes as long as a licensed driver is in the driver’s seat.
    • SB 1047: CHP will begin a Silver Alert system similar to Amber Alert, but for missing people over 65 years old.
    • AB 1550: Veterans will be able to apply for specialized plates designating them as participants of specific wars or conflicts with the use of new decals. Old decals will be phased out depending on demand and cost of production.