New California Traffic Laws Taking Effect in 2023

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January 04, 2023
Edward Smith

New California Traffic Laws in 2023

The New Year is upon us, and as the saying goes, “ring out the old and ring in the new.” As we look towards happiness, health, and prosperity in 2023, we should also look into the new laws related to transportation.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has assembled a list of new traffic safety-related laws that went into effect on January 1, 2023. Whether you are driving, bicycling, or walking, here is what you need to know:

Speeding and Reckless Driving: Vehicular Manslaughter

Senate Bill 1472: This bill expands on what constitutes gross negligence regarding vehicular manslaughter. Those who participate in illegal activities, such as racing, sideshows, or speeding over 100 miles per hour, which result in a fatality, could now be charged with gross negligence or vehicular manslaughter.

Illegal Drag Racing and Exhibitions of Speed 

Assembly Bill 2000: This bill expands the definition of an existing crime. It is already illegal to race, speed, or participate in sideshow activities on California’s highways. However, this bill also makes it a crime for drivers to engage in these activities in parking lots and off-street parking structures.

Yellow Alert in Hit-and-Run Accidents

Assembly Bill 1732: This bill will use the public’s assistance and tips to help California law enforcement agencies investigate hit-and-run accidents. Officials can request the California Highway Patrol to trigger a “Yellow Alert” when a deadly hit-and-run collision occurs. This law will also allow local news media to report and circulate the information contained in the Yellow Alert.

Bicycles Omnibus and Electric Bicycles Bill 

Assembly Bill 1909: This bill provides more protections for bicyclists. Like the “move over or slow down” law when passing a stationary emergency vehicle, motorists passing a bicyclist traveling in the same direction are now required to move over a lane of traffic or slow down and only pass when it is safe.

The bill will also allow Class 3 electric bicycles to use approved bike lanes, bike paths, bikeways, and horse, hiking, and recreational trails. It will prohibit city officials from requiring bicycle registration.

E-Bikes Safety and Training Program 

Assembly Bill 1946: This bill requires the California Highway Patrol to work with other traffic safety agencies, like the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), to create electric bike safety and training programs statewide. The program will include e-bike riding safety, rules of the road, e-bike laws, and emergency maneuver skills. The E-bike Safety and Training Program will launch in September 2023.

Pedestrians Safety: Jaywalking

Assembly Bill 2147 – The Freedom of Act: This bill promotes fair and impartial use of public streets. The law forbids police officers from stopping and ticketing pedestrians for jaywalking or crossing the road without using a crosswalk at an intersection unless they are in danger of getting hit by a car.

Catalytic Converters Thefts

Senate Bill 1087 and Assembly Bill 1740: These companion bills are intended to help decrease catalytic converter theft. The law prevents recycling centers from buying catalytic converters from individuals who are not the owner of the vehicle from which the part was removed. California ranked first for the most catalytic converters stolen in 2022. Recyclers are required to keep specified information regarding the purchase and sale of the catalytic converters.

To learn more about the new California traffic laws and other laws going into effect in 2023, watch the YouTube video from ABC7 below.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an auto accident attorney in Sacramento. Were you involved in a recent car accident in Sacramento and suffered serious injuries? Call our law office at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 to discuss your options for monetary recovery. Our knowledgeable legal team is available to provide free, friendly advice anytime.

Our injury lawyers have helped residents of Sacramento and Greater Northern California obtain successful Settlements and Verdicts since 1982.

Photo by Evgeny Tchebotarev on Unsplash

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