New California Traffic Laws Effective January 1, 2017

When you're driving, you try your best to follow all of the laws of the road and hope that others will do the same. However, with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) constantly creating new traffic laws, it can be difficult to always stay aware of these developments. Now that it is officially 2017, we have compiled a list of the newest traffic laws in California so you are aware of the changes which are now in effect.

Understanding the New Traffic Laws in 2017

The DMV puts new traffic laws in place which they hope will keep motorists and passengers safer on the road. These laws govern the way child safety seats should be installed for the protection of your children, as well as restrictions on wireless devices. By making yourself aware of these new laws, you can abide by them and not end up with a traffic violation.

The new traffic laws are as follows:

  • Electronic wireless device usage: Unless you are using the device in a hands-free mode, you will not be able to use a mobile phone at all. This includes any use of the device, including texting, calling, and recording photos or videos.
  • Child safety seats: Any children who are under the age of two must be restrained in a rear-facing child safety seat. If the child is taller than 40 inches or weighs more than 40 pounds, this restriction does not apply.
  • Motorcycle lane splitting: Motorcycle lane splitting or sharing has officially been legalized, which allows a driver on a motorcycle (vehicle with two wheels) to safely share the lane with another vehicle.
  • DUI Ignition Interlock Device: This new law requires most DUI convictions to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. This device tests the driver's BAC before and during the operation of a vehicle and may eliminate some of the other restrictions of a DUI, such as the loss of license.
  • School bus safety: Any school bus or bus which is responsible for transporting children or school-age children will be required to put in place an alert system for child safety. All schools responsible for children will also be required to have a system in place to ensure children are not left by themselves on a bus.
  • Accident reporting: Previously, there was a minimum threshold in place of $750 for the amount of property damage that must be present to require reporting an accident. This property damage minimum has been raised to $1,000.
  • Vehicle safety recalls: With this new bill, any rental car companies or dealers are prohibited from renting or loaning a vehicle which is currently under recall. Within 48 hours of receiving notice of the recall, the ban goes into place and stays until the vehicle has been fixed. They will also be required to disclose information about the recall when vehicle registration is renewed.
  • Year of manufacture license plates: This bill allows the owner of a vintage car (1980 and older) to obtain a vintage license plate which corresponds to the year the car was made. The vintage license plate would be allowed to replace the existing license plate.

Have you been arrested for violating a traffic law in Murrieta? Contact Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich today at (951) 506-6654 for a free consultation.


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