Understanding California’s New Daylighting Law for Drivers

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February 26, 2024
Edward Smith

New Daylighting Law Removes Obstructions

In California, 2024 brings a significant new law (AB 413) known as ‘daylighting’ with wide-reaching implications for drivers. The Daylighting Law designates a specific distance from crosswalks where vehicles must not park. By removing the obstruction parked cars cause, pedestrians and oncoming traffic can see one another more clearly as they approach a crosswalk and intersection.

Overview of the New ‘Daylighting’ Law

Beginning January 1, 2024, California’s drivers must know their parking obligations concerning daylighting. The law mandates that vehicles must not park within 5 feet of a driveway, 15 feet of a fire hydrant, or 20 feet of an intersection. The approach to the intersection may or may not have a red, painted curb. However, the driver must avoid parking in this section. 

The state legislature passed the law, authored by Alex Lee (D-San José), in October 2023, and parking within 20 feet of a marked or unmarked crosswalk became illegal after January 2024. The new Vehicle Code Section CVC 22500 prohibits standing, parking, or stopping within 20 feet of any marked or unmarked crosswalk and 15 feet of any crosswalk with a curb extension. Violators of the new daylighting regulations face fines and mandatory court appearances for parking too close to these essential traffic elements.

On a Two-Way Street

Only the right side approaching a crosswalk falls under AB 413 on a two-way street. Alternatively, both sides fall under the rule if the street is one-way. 

Tips for Compliance: Navigating Daylighting in Practice

Complying with the new daylighting law doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Here are some practical tips to ensure that your parking habits meet the new standards:

  • Be Mindful of Markings: Always look for painted lines or signs that indicate the proper distance from intersections and crosswalks.
  • Use Your Best Estimate: If no clear parking lines or signs exist, err on the side of caution and make your best guess at the designated distance.
  • Avoid the “Just for a Minute” Temptation: Running a quick errand is not worth putting others at risk. Find legitimate parking, even if it’s a little further, to ensure you’re not in violation.
  • Educate Your Community: Spread awareness about the new law among your neighbors and friends. It’s a collective effort to keep each other safe on the roads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do these rules apply to different types of roads?

Unless otherwise specified, the new daylighting law applies to all public roads. However, it’s always good to watch for local variations or exceptions, such as temporary parking allowances for events, which might deviate from the general rule.

Can I appeal a ticket if I don’t see a proper indication of the designated areas?

If you genuinely believe the lack of clear markers led to your violation, it’s undoubtedly worth contesting the ticket. Document the absence of signs or faded road markings, and be prepared to present your case logically.

What penalties can a violation of the daylighting law incur?

Sanctions for non-compliance can include fines and court appearances. Reasons for leniency are unlikely to be accepted by traffic enforcers, so it’s best to be versed in the law and make every effort to adhere to it. Anyone who breaks the law will receive a warning until January 1, 2025. After that, a citation will be issued.

Watch this video by Ed Smith, an accident lawyer, to learn more about choosing a lawyer for your case:

Car Accident Attorney in Sacramento

I’m Ed Smith, a car accident attorney in Sacramento. For free and friendly advice about your rights if you’ve been injured due to a driver’s disregard for traffic laws from one of our knowledgeable accident lawyers, call (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400. Alternatively, you can reach out to us online.

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Photo attribution: Image by 12019 from Pixabay

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