2015 California Laws Affecting Motorists
With a new year come new laws to be aware of pertaining to the vehicle code. With some help from the California Highway Patrol, here’s a quick digest of new laws in effect for 2016:
Use of Earbuds and Headsets (SB 491): This law clarifies that it is illegal to have earbuds in or headphones on both ears while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle.
Slow-moving Bikes & Cars Must Allow Passing (AB 208): The law requiring slow-moving passenger vehicles to pull over safely to let traffic pass has been amended to apply to all vehicles, including bicycles. Slow-moving vehicles are required to use the next available turnout or other area to let backed-up traffic (i.e. five or more vehicles) get by.
New Hit-and-Run Yellow Alert System (AB 8): A “Yellow Alert” notification system will be established for hit-and-run incidents resulting in death or serious injury. This will allow the rapid dissemination of information regarding the suspect and their vehicle, including the use of the freeway Changeable Message Signs (CMS).
Electronically Motorized Boards Restricted to Roads & Bikeways (AB 604): The new law defines an “electronically motorized board” as a wheeled device designed to be stood on and powered by electronic propulsion, going no more than 15 miles per hour. Electronically motorized boards can only be ridden on a highway with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, or specific designated bikeways. The rider must be at least 16 years old and wear a bicycle helmet. (Cities and counties are authorized to restrict the use of electrically motorized boards.)
Silver Alerts to Use Changeable Message Signs (AB 643): The “Silver Alert” notification system has been enhanced to allow alerts to be communicated on CMS when a vehicle is involved. The Silver Alert is an emergency system that allows law enforcement to broadcast alerts for seniors, or individuals with developmental disabilities or who are cognitively impaired, who are missing and may be in danger.
For complete information on bills enacted in 2015, please visit the Legislative Counsel Web site.