The year 2020 has begun and it marks a new decade, but just as with any new year it marks the start of the new traffic laws that came into effect on January 1st. The following laws are now valid throughout the State of California.
California Vehicle Code §1680
Majority of people in California dread going to the DMV because it is always a possibility that you will end up spending hours and hours sitting there waiting for your number to be called. It seems like such a waste of time, right? Many people would pay for an ideal appointment time that fits their schedule. However, effective January 1, 2020 California Vehicle Code §1680 makes the sale of or even simply offering to sell an appointment with the DMV unlawful. An appointment is defined as any arrangement to receive a government service at a specified time.
SB 957 – Distinctive Identifiers for Vehicles meeting certain specified standards
Senate Bill 957 was passed to amend California Vehicle Code §5205.5 to authorize high-occupancy vehicle lane identifiers to be issued beginning on January 1, 2020 until January 1, 2024 to Super ultra-low emission vehicles, enhanced advanced technology partial zero-emission vehicles and transitional zero-emission vehicles that had previously been issued an identifier and would make that identifier valid until January 2024, if the applicant for the identifier has a household income at or below 80 percent of the state median income.
California Penal Code §835(a) – Reasonable force to effect arrest
Although not specifically a traffic law, §835(a) of the penal code can come into play as a result of even a routine traffic stop. California Penal Code §835(a) was amended to incorporate a very important concept. It was amended to change the reasonable force standard to incorporate the important concept of being objectively reasonable. California Penal code §835 (a) now reads “In determining whether deadly force is necessary, officers shall evaluate each situation in light of the particular circumstances of each case, and shall use other available resources and techniques if reasonably safe and feasible to an OBJECTIVELY REASONABLE OFFICER…. That the decision by a peace officer to use force shall be evaluated from the perspective of a REASONABLE officer in the same situation…Any peace officer who has reasonable cause to believe that the person to be arrested has committed a public offense may use OBJECTIVELY reasonably force to effect the arrest, to prevent escape, or to overcome resistance”.
California Vehicle Code §34621 – Operation Past Expiration Date of Permit
California Vehicle Code §34621 was amended to allow a motor carrier of property to continue to operate for 30 days past the expiration date of the motor carrier permit, if the motor carrier of property applied for a renewal of a motor carrier permit before expiration of the motor carrier permit, holds a valid motor carrier permit for the previous year and a few other requirements. A motor Carrier of Property is a for-hire motor carrier that hauls regulated freight.
California Vehicle Code §22101 - Regulation of Turns at Intersections
The California Vehicle Code §22101 was amended to add “A person operating a bicycle may travel straight through a right or left-hand turn only lane when an official traffic control device indicates that the movement is permitted”.
Vehicle Passengers Prohibited from Consuming Cannabis
Beginning in 2020, the consumption of cannabis by passengers in a camper, limousine, house car, taxi, pedicab, or bus is prohibited. However, interestingly there is still an exemption in place for alcohol.