2019 Brings New Traffic Safety Laws to California

On January 1, 2019, California enacted several new laws geared toward traffic safety and vehicle equipment. Here is a sampling of the new laws that went into effect with the new year.

  • License plates (AB516): Paper plates with just a dealership’s name on it will be a thing of the past. This new law requires new and used car dealerships to affix temporary license plates to a vehicle before it is driven off the lot if it does not already have DMV issued plates.
  • Bicycle Hit & Run (AB1755): This law extends the felony hit-and-run law to bicyclists on bike paths. Any cyclist involved in a collision is required to stop at the scene of an accident.
  • Loud Mufflers (AB1824): Previously, citations for vehicles and motorcycles with modified or excessively loud exhaust or muffler systems could receive a “fix-it” ticket and pay a reduced penalty if they corrected the problem. This law now requires a fine be paid for the violation.
  • Passing Garbage Trucks (AB2115): This law now requires motorists to pull into an adjacent lane when passing or approaching a garbage truck with amber lights flashing. If there is no adjacent lane, the driver must slow to a “safe and reasonable speed”.
  • Kids and Helmets (AB3077): This law now provides law enforcement with the ability to issue a “fix-it” ticket to minors who are riding a bicycle, skateboard or roller skates without a helmet. The violation can be correctable if the minor completes a safety course and obtains a helmet within 120 days of receiving the ticket.