California’s Newest Traffic Laws

View of California 405 FreewayIf you are a California resident, you should be aware of the new traffic laws that will officially go into effect on January 1, 2017. The California Department of Motor Vehicles has recently issued a reminder about some of the major changes in traffic laws that will affect most of the drivers around the state. Below is a partial list of these new and updated laws. Keep in mind that you are responsible for following the laws starting the day that they go into effect.


Wireless Devices

Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1785, the regulations are now more strict on how drivers may operate a wireless device while behind the wheel. The new law states that drivers may no longer operate any wireless device that requires more than one swipe or tap. This means that it is no longer legal to be able to use a wireless device to use voice texting. Drivers can now only use a wireless device that can be safely mounted to the windshield of the vehicle. See the California Highway Patrol’s website for exactly where it is to be mounted.


Child Safety Seats

According to Assembly Bill 53, the regulations on child safety restraints for children have been expanded. The new law requires that children under 2 years of age must ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat. Children who weigh 40 or more pounds or are 40 inches tall or more are held exempt. But there is no change to the law that states all children 8 years of age and under must be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.


Safety for School Buses

Senate Bill 1072 is requiring all school buses and other vehicles used to transport school-age children to have a child safety alert system. Also required by all schools is a transportation safety plan to make sure that there are no students left alone on a bus.


Lane Splitting for Motorcycles

There is no change to the current lane-splitting laws for motorcycles in the state of California, as long as it is done in a safe manner. The newly passed bill allows the California Highway Patrol to develop safety and educational guidelines for lane splitting, alongside other traffic safety agencies.


Ignition Interlock Devices

Per Senate Bill 1046, California now requires drivers who have been convicted of a DUI to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in their car in order to obtain a restricted license or to reinstate their license. If the person who has been convicted of a DUI installs an IID in their vehicle, the law will remove the suspension time that is required before they can get a restricted license.

Currently, there are four different counties (Alameda, Los Angles, Sacramento, Tulare) included in the state’s IID pilot program. The plan is for this requirement to extend to the entire state on January 1, 2019.


For a complete list of legislative bills, please visit the Legislative Council website.


Whether you are looking to obtain an SR22 certificate or a referral for an Ignition Interlock Device, Breathe Easy Insurance is the place to call. By contacting one our helpful representatives at 866.822.7755, we can get you a free quote within minutes and help you with all of your insurance needs.