2019 California Driving Laws

New 2019 California Driving Laws

As the new year rolls in and Chico residents prepare to follow through with their resolutions, area drivers can also expect a new set of vehicle-related regulations for California roadways. These changes were approved by the state legislators in 2018 and will be enforced by all state authorities effective on January 1, 2019. The laws include new provisions for license plates, smog testing, motorized scooters, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and more. Because these new laws will affect the lives of most people who use California roads, Chico residents may want to get familiar with some of the more important ones as the new year begins.


As of 2019, drivers over the age of 18 will no longer be required to wear a helmet while operating a motorized scooter. Additionally, no motorized scooters with an engine displacement of under 150 cc will be allowed on highways with speed limits exceeding 25 miles per hour unless there is an appropriate lane for bikes.


People under the age of 18 who are found riding scooters, skateboards, roller-skates, or bicycles will be given “fix-it” tickets.


The Department of Motor Vehicles will begin including at least one test question regarding driving with unsafe cargo loads in at least 20 percent of their driver license application tests. All roadway vehicles will be required to cover or secure large cargo loads.


It is illegal to drive away from the scene of a vehicle accident, and the new 2019 law expands this rule to cyclists on bike paths. As with a pedestrian, vehicle, or bicycle accident that happens in a normal roadway area, motorists who are involved in accidents in bike paths that cause injury or death are required to stop and remain at the collision scene.


A mandatory fine will be put in place for vehicles and motorcycles cited for excessively loud or modified exhaust systems.


New laws will expand current smog check exemption for vehicles that are six to eight model years old. These vehicles will be able to pay annual smog abatement fees for an additional two years at a slightly higher rate.


Until January 1, 2026, repeat DUI offenders and those who’ve caused DUI accidents resulting in injury will be required to install breathalyzer interlock devices on their vehicles for 12 to 48 months. This law will also allow people who receive suspensions to obtain driving privileges with the device as well as receive credit toward their lock period if they are convicted of DUI later on. This will not apply to drug-only violations.

Determining Fault After a Crash

While the above regulations aren’t complicated, finding out who is legally at-fault after a serious car accident can be a difficult process. If you’ve been in a crash, the best thing to do is to call a Chico personal injury lawyer in order to get professional advice about your situation. However, if you’d like to know a bit more about determining fault before contacting an attorney, the below video contains helpful info:

More from Chico Personal Injury Lawyer Ed Smith

Chico Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Chico personal injury lawyer. If a reckless driver has caused you serious harm, contact my office at (530) 392-9400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.

I have 37 years of experience helping Chico residents obtain the money they deserve for damages related to wrongful death and severe personal injury. You can see the verdicts and settlements my clients have received here. If you want to read reviews of my work written by the people I’ve helped check out these sites:

I am a California member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group for trial lawyers with a previous case in which their client was awarded more than $1,000,000.

New 2019 California Driving Laws: Ed Smith

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