California Traffic Laws Have Changed in 2019
New traffic and driving laws passing this year are identifying gender, license plates required, scooter helmets, securing loads, anti-DUI devices and clean air vehicle stickers. All the new traffic laws took effect on New Year’s Day.
Identifying gender is a new senate bill, which allows drivers to select female, male, or non-binary genders for their California driver’s license or identification cards. Non-binary is for people “who do not identify as exclusively male or female.” This new bill will also make it easier for people to change their gender and name on state identification papers.
New Helmet Requirement
If you drive a motorized scooter and are over the age of 18, adults in California no longer have to wear helmets while riding a motorized scooter. You still need to drive safely and be careful. Motorized scooters as stated on AB 2989 are allowed to operate on Class IV bikeway and Class II bikeway and on highways with speed limits up to 25 miles per hour. Motorized scooters are illegal to operate on sidewalks.
Securing loads is a new way to make the roads safer from unsecured items that can fall off from moving vehicles, like ladders, buckets, etc. that land on roads. California Vehicle Code 2803 is the law that states that your load has to be secure.
Not securing loads on vehicles can run a ticket up to $200 in California
Other states, judges have been allowed to hand down jail time to individuals because an unsecured load can be extremely dangerous. The new law requires DMV to include at least one question addressing laws pertaining to driving with unsafe, unsecured load on the knowledge tests, that are administered to driver license applicants.
Anti DUI Devices
Anti-DUI Devices is the installation of an ignition interlock device for 12-48 months for individuals who are repeated offenders and those with a first DUI who injured someone. Senate Bill 1046 makes California the 33rd state in the nation to expand the ignition interlock device program. The device can also be installed on a first-time DUI offender who didn’t injure anyone to install it for up to six months, if the judge is inclined to do so.
Clean Air Stickers Have Been Removed
Clean Air Vehicle stickers had the green and white stickers that were valid in high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are no longer valid this year. HOV are restricted traffic lanes reserved for the use of vehicles with a driver and one or more passengers. What the clean air vehicle sticker allows is solo drivers the use of HOV lanes, but only for qualifying cars which can be find on The California Air Resources Board. Individuals who are owners of the green and white stickers may apply for a new red decal that allows use of the HOV lanes until Jan. 1, 2022. For first-time applications, purple decals are the stickers that get issued for HOV lanes for qualifying vehicles.
Some of these new traffic laws are add-ons to existing laws but add more to the law and is more in-depth than the general traffic law established before.