California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several new bills into law during the last legislative session and our traffic law team has pulled the ones most important to drivers. When you hit the street on January 1, 2023, the following laws will be in affect:
The OmniBike Bill brings us new laws, big most relevant to drivers is that it is now required to change lanes whenever passing a bicyclist, if feasible. According to the state “The prior rule, requiring people in cars to give people on bikes a 3-foot margin when passing, was difficult to enforce and not enough space for comfort in some situations. The change lanes to pass provision will make it easier for police to cite drivers who fail to give bikes room for safety.”
Are you in to e-bikes? Well the world just got a little easier for you. The Bill also “expands access for people riding e-bikes. In some areas, some or all e-bikes were banned from certain bikeways. The bill requires that e-bikes get access while still allowing the Department of Parks and Recreation to prohibit them on some trails and local authorities to ban them from equestrian, hiking, and recreational trails.”
Pedestrians can cross the street outside an intersection or crosswalk without being ticketed as long as it is safe to do so. AB-2147, also known as The Freedom to Walk Act specifies “Jaywalking” as an offense only when a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger of a collision.
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These laws specifically list who can sell catalytic converters to recyclers and require those recyclers to keep documentation such as the year, make, model, and copy of the vehicle title from which the catalytic converter was removed. The purpose of these laws is to help reduce catalytic converter theft.
This law expands the criteria for “gross negligence” as it relates to the crime of vehicular manslaughter. Drivers involved in sideshow activity, exhibition of speed, or speeding over 100 miles per hour which results in a fatality could now be charged with Vehicular Manslaughter with Gross Negligence.
This law enables officers to give more options to deal with prosecuting street racing and side show participants. Parking lots and off-street parking facilities are now included as locations where it is a crime to engage in a speed contest, exhibition of speed, or sideshow activity.