2017 TRAFFIC SAFETY Laws
Effective January 1st!
California Highway Patrol Commander
Lieutenant Preszler, Arrowhead /Inland
CHP Headquarters wants San Bernardino Mountain residents and visitors
to know the New Year’s traffic safety laws for California.
These changes to current
law, or additional laws, were passed by the California Legislature and signed
by Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. As part of the continued mission of
saving lives, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is seeking to educate the
public on some of the new rules of the road taking effect at the beginning of
Child safety seats
(AB 53, Garcia) Although this law was passed during the 2015
legislative session, it took effect January 1, 2017. Children under two
years of age must ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety
seat. Children weighing 40 or more pounds, or standing 40 or more inches
tall, are exempt.
The California Law continues to require that all
children under the age of eight be properly restrained in an appropriate child
safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.
of Wireless Electronic Devices (AB 1785, Quirk) Motorists
are no longer permitted to hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless
communications device while driving a motor vehicle. Rather than holding
the device, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the
windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower
corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option is to
affix the device to the dashboard in a place that does not obstruct the
driver’s clear view of the road and does not interfere with the deployment of
New Law does allow a driver to
operate one of these devices with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the
finger, but not while holding it.
Driving under the influence: Ignition
Interlock Device (SB 1046, Hill) This law requires a driving under the
influence (DUI) offender to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their
vehicle for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted driver
license or to reinstate their license.
New Law also removes the required suspension time before a person
can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs an IID on
New Law extends the current
four-county (Sacramento, Los Angeles, Alameda, Tulare) DUI IID pilot program
until January 1, 2019, at which time all DUI offenders statewide will be
required to install an IID to have their license reinstated.
Vehicle Motorcycles: Lane Splitting
(AB 51, Quirk) Current law does not
change; lane splitting by a motorcyclist remains legal if done safely. This
Assembly Bill defines lane splitting
as driving a motorcycle, which has two wheels in contact with the ground,
between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane.
Assembly Bill permits the CHP to
develop lane splitting educational safety guidelines in consultation with other
state traffic safety agencies and at least one organization focused on
School Bus Safety: Child Alert System
(SB 1072, Mendoza) This law requires all
school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and child care motor
vehicles used to transport school-age children to be equipped with a child safety alert system. Every school is required to have a
transportation safety plan with procedures to ensure that a pupil is not left
unattended in a vehicle.
Charter Bus Safety Improvements (SB 247,
Lara) All buses manufactured after
1, 2020, will be required to have emergency lighting fixtures that will turn on
in the event of an impact or collision.
New Law also requires a bus company
to ensure the driver of the charter bus provides oral and written, or video
instructions to all passengers on safety equipment and emergency exits on the
bus prior to any trip.
Tour Buses: Safety Inspections (AB
1677, Ting) This New
Law requires the CHP to develop protocols for
entering into a memorandum of understanding with local governments to increase
the number of inspections for tour buses operated within their jurisdiction.
complete information on California Legislature Bills enacted in 2016, please
refer to the Legislative Counsel Web site at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/.
CHP Juan C. Quintero
helps a mother properly fit her child into a car seat.
Mother fastens her
4-year old into the car seat. PHOTOS BY E T Russell