New California Traffic Laws for 2021 | What Drivers Should Know To Avoid A Traffic Ticket

January 6, 2021

California has a few new traffic laws that are set to go into effect in 2021.

The new laws were released mid December by the California Highway Patrol. They start Jan. 1, unless otherwise noted. 

Emergency vehicle safety

Drivers are now required to slow down or change lanes when approaching stationary emergency vehicles with emergency lights, such as a tow truck or California Highway Patrol car, on local streets and roads. Previously, such slowing was only required on freeways.

This law is designed to protect law enforcement officials or first responders who may be outside of their vehicles while responding to emergencies. We urge you to be extra cautious when passing all accident scenes or disabled vehicles. 

Also, authorized emergency vehicles can now use a “Hi-Lo” warning sound, which is different from a siren. It will be used to notify the public of an immediate need to evacuate an area for an emergency. 

Law To Help Unattended Children For Good Samaritans

Bystanders and passersby will not face civil or criminal liability for damaging vehicles in order to remove unattended children, age 6 or younger, who are in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of ventilation or other dangerous circumstances. This law has been created in response to an uptick of incidents related to children stuck inside vehicles.

Traffic Ticket And Points For Distracted driving

Beginning July 1 2021, driving while using a cell phone “in a handheld manner” can result in a point being added to a driver’s record. This penalty applies if the violation is the second to occur within 36 months of being convicted of the same offense.

Four points within 12 months, six within 24 months or eight within 36 months could lead to a suspended license, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

The law applies to anyone caught talking on the phone or texting while driving unless they’re using a hands-free device. Anyone under the age of 18 cannot use any devices while driving. Put the phone down and do your part to combat distracted driving. 

Our Traffic Ticket Lawyers Are Ready To Assist You In 2021

Now that you know about the newest rules of the road in California we hope you avoid getting pulled over. If you are one of the unlucky ones and get a traffic ticket for any infraction our traffic defense lawyers are on standby ready to help you. Call 1-800-CITATION for a free consultation.