CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

New Laws for Motor Vehicle Operators in Sacramento 

New Traffic Laws in California for 2020

Now that 2020 is upon us, Sacramento residents, as well as other Californians, need to pay attention to new laws that are in effect. These laws deal with everything from drivers licenses to who is allowed in the HOV lane. It’s important to be aware of the changes because saying you didn’t know about the laws won’t help if you are pulled over. Let’s take a look at the new laws that will have an effect on you starting now.

Who Gets to Use the HOV Lane

Assembly Bill 544, which was passed in 2017, will allow vehicles with low or zero emissions to travel in the HOV lanes until 2024. This is true, no matter how many people are on board. Beginning this year, the DMV will provide orange-colored decals to drivers who own these vehicles. The decals will no longer be produced after January 1, 2024. In addition, if you purchased a used car and you earn 80 percent of the state median income, you will also get an orange decal. This will happen only if the vehicle’s previously issued decal was white or green and has since expired. For the most part, you need to own a hybrid vehicle that plugs in or one with a battery or hydrogen fuel cell that is emission-free to qualify for this rule. Right now, valid decal colors for HOV use are red or purple, and they will expire in 2022 and 2023, respectively. 

Motorized Scooters

Motorized scooters will no longer require a Class M2 permit or license. This means if you have a California driver’s license or any class of permit, you will legally be able to drive a motor scooter.

Watch Out for Trash Trucks 

Motorists have to be careful to give trash trucks enough room. A new law states that when a driver approaches or passes a stopped trash truck, the motorist must move into an adjacent lane and give the truck enough space when passing. This law is intended to prevent drivers from interfering with the safe operation of the trash truck.

Court Authority Dampened

If a person is convicted of some non-driving offenses such as vandalism or prostitution, the courts will no longer be able to restrict or revoke a driver’s license. In addition, the courts will no longer be able to delay the issuance of a driver’s license by the DMV due to non-driving offenses. In the past, the courts were required or authorized to delay license approval by the DMV or suspend them if a person was convicted of using a gun, drug or alcohol use or possession. The new law abolishes this too. 

Distracted Driving

A new law passed in 2019 and now in effect, deals with the issuance of points against one’s traffic record for distracted driving. If a driver is found to be using a non-hands-free cell phone while on the road, one point will be levied against their driving record. 

Selling an Appointment at the DMV – Think Twice

Some people are trying to sell their scheduled appointments at the DMV. This is a bad idea since selling or attempting to sell an appointment is illegal. 

Real IDs 

On October 1, 2020, you will not be able to enter a federal building such as a courthouse or board a plane in the United States without a Real ID or a passport. In order to obtain a Real ID, you will need to visit the DMV and fill out the application. Once that is done, you need to provide documents that prove your identity, two proofs of residency, and proof of a Social Security number. If you do not have a Social Security number, you will still be able to apply. Check out the California DMV to learn what specific documents will fulfill these requirements. 

How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help After an Accident

After an accident, negligence must be proven to collect damages. Our investigative team will note if any citations were issued to the at-fault driver at the accident scene. For instance, let’s say someone who caused your accident was also driving distracted by using a non-hands-free cell phone. The police officer at the scene will undoubtedly issue a citation to the driver. In court, this will serve as support for negligence by the driver and help our client’s case. Our investigators will also review police records, obtain videos of the accident, and use crash reconstruction techniques. Once all evidence is amassed, we release it to our lawyers to build a strong case for our client.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. It is essential to be aware of new California laws. When another driver breaks those laws out of negligence, it is possible to file a claim against them or their insurance. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online.

I have helped numerous clients in all varieties of car accidents, wrongful death cases, and traumatic brain injuries

I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates and the National Association of Distinguished Counsel.

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