CHP Highlights New California Laws Going into Effect in 2020

Photo of SUV car driving on highway

The California Highway Patrol recently highlighted new California driving laws for 2020. Passed in 2019 by the California Legislature, the new driving laws will influence roadway safety. California Highway Patrol (CHP) is encouraging drivers to make themselves aware of these new laws. Following the new roadway laws will help keep you and your loved ones safe and secure on the roads.

New California Driving Laws 2020

In a recent news release, CHP highlighted the laws drivers should take note of. They include the following:

  • Bicycles in turning lanes. Under this new law, cyclists will no longer have to stop in a turn-only lane but can pass straight through these intersections. This will include cyclists in either left or right turning lanes. However, this action is only permitted so long as the traffic light at the intersection grants it.
    The Department of Transportation is currently working to develop the standards to implement this new law. In the meantime, drivers should be aware that this law has already taken effect. This means that drivers should keep a special eye out for bicyclists on the road in 2020 during this transition period.
  • Passengers and cannabis. Prior to the passage of Assembly Bill 1820, passengers in buses, limousines, taxis, pedicabs, housecars or campers were free to consume cannabis products. The California Legislature has now ended this exemption, although this will not apply to alcoholic drinks. The prohibition of cannabis use by passengers will apply to all forms of cannabis products.
  • Salvaging roadkill. The new California driving laws also include a bill concerning the salvaging of roadkill. Starting this year, the general public is no longer allowed to recover and eat wildlife struck and killed by a motor vehicle. This includes wildlife such as deer, elk, pronghorn antelope, and wild pigs.
    However, this new law authorizes the Fish and Game Commission to issue permits for salvaging wildlife for human consumption. Members of the general public can apply for these permits in the upcoming year.
  • Officer use of deadly force. The California Act to Save Lives passed last year and explicitly limits when officers can use deadly force. Prior to this bill, justification of deadly force only required officers to “reasonably believe” this type of force was necessary. Now, the law requires that officers only use deadly force when necessary to protect themselves or others. This new standard shifts justification away from an officer’s personal belief and toward a more objective criterion.
    A related bill was also passed which requires law enforcement agencies to rewrite and re-train officers on the new deadly force law.
  • Wireless phones and distracted driving. Under the current hands-free law, drivers may receive a fine for using a cell phone while driving. Now, the California Legislature has voted to add a penalty to this type of driving violation. Starting in 2021, drivers will have points added to their license for every hands-free violation within a 36-month span. This new California driving law seeks to discourage drivers from distracted driving.

Contact Our San Diego Auto Accident Attorneys for More Information

The new California driving laws aim to protect drivers, pedestrians, and even wildlife in 2020. However, life is bound to happen. For those involved in a recent auto accident, consider contacting our firm. The Traffic Accident Law Center serves the victims of all kinds of vehicular accidents. Call or contact us online today for your free consultation.