Multiple new driving laws went into effect at the beginning of the year. If you are not aware of these laws, then it could cost you financially and you could run into legal issues. Below, we have a brief summary of each new law and how you could be affected.

The California Ignition Interlock Device Law (SB 1046)

California lawmakers passed SB 1046, which went into effect on January 1, 2019. The law will stay in effect until January 1, 2026, so it is important to know how it works. Repeat DUI offenders must install ignition interlock devices on their vehicles. First-time offenders, if ordered by the court or if their accidents cause injuries, must also install these devices. Motorists must blow into these devices to start their vehicles.

These license restrictions apply for 12 to 48 months, or 6 months if the court orders a first-time offender whose accident did not result in an injury to use an ignition interlock device.

Driver’s License Gender Identification Changes (SB 169)

Under this new law, California motorists can now self-certify their chosen gender identity on the driver’s license application as male, female or nonbinary. If a motorist chooses the nonbinary option, it will appear as an “X” on the gender category of the driver’s license.

New License Plate Rules (AB 516)

There are new rules for license plates in California. Under the new law, new and used car dealerships must provide customers with temporary license plates before they drive off the lot if the vehicles do not already have DMV plates.

Low and Zero-Emission Vehicles Can Use Carpool Lanes (AB 544)

Do you have a low or zero-emission vehicle? You may be able to take advantage of carpool lanes regardless of whether you have passengers. There are decal requirements under the new law, so you should check with the DMV to determine whether you can use carpool lanes.

New Rules on Bicycle Hit-and-Run Crashes (AB 1755)

AB 1755 requires bicyclists on bike paths to stop at the scene of a crash. Failing to stop at the scene of a crash might be considered a felony under the new law. The felony provision of California’s hit-and-run law now applies to cyclists on bike paths.

Changes to Driver Tests in California (AB 1925)

The California Driver’s License exam must contain at least one question that pertains to unsecured cargo. According to the Sacramento Bee, the questions discuss dangers associated with ladders, buckets or other loose items.

The New Helmet Safety Law for Minors

Minors who are riding scooters, bicycles, skateboards or skates can receive “fix it” tickets for not wearing a helmet. To resolve the ticket, the minor must complete a bicycle safety course and must obtain a helmet that meets requirements under state law within 120 days of receiving the citation.

About Our Alameda County Car Accident Lawyers

Heinrich Law, PC is an Alameda County personal injury law firm with experience handling auto accident cases. Knowing what steps to take after a car accident can be confusing and emotionally draining after suffering injuries or losing a loved one.

Our Alameda County car accident lawyers can help you negotiate a settlement with insurance companies or pursue a jury trial if necessary. You may contact us for a free consultation by dialing (510) 570-1608 or by using our online contact form.