New California road safety laws of 2022 highlighted by CHP

New road safety laws are set to come into effect in California on January 1, and CHP sought this week to alert the public of the changes for 2022.

The bills were signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom after being approved by state lawmakers in this last legislative session, according to the California Highway Patrol. These new rules of the road cover a wide range of issues, from illegal shows to safety equipment for riders.

In addition, the CHP press release on Wednesday also highlighted a law from last July and one that is still years away from being implemented.

New laws for January 1, 2022

Sideshow Definition and Penalties (Bill 3):

This new law defines a “sideshow” event in California and strengthens penalties for violations related to illegal street takeovers.

Under AB 3, a sideshow will be defined as “an event in which two or more people block or impede traffic on a freeway, for the purpose of performing motor vehicle stunts, motor vehicle speed contests, demonstrations of motor vehicle speed or reckless driving. , for spectators.

While the legislation provides for a stricter penalty for such offenses, this part of the law will not come into force until July 1, 2025. When it does, a person convicted of speeding at a show parallel could potentially see his driver’s license suspended for 90 days to 6 months.

However, the court should take into account any family, medical or personal difficulties that may require the defendant to hold a license before determining whether to suspend it.

Equestrian Safety Equipment (Assembly Bill 974):

AB 974 states that anyone under the age of 18 must wear a helmet when riding a horse, mule or donkey on a paved road. In addition, riders of all ages or their equines will be required to wear a flashlight or reflective gear on the rides after dark.

Anyone who breaks the law can be fined up to $ 25.

The bill includes an exemption for those who ride an equestrian animal in a parade or festival, or if they move from a paved highway to an unpaved highway.

Tribal Emergency Vehicles (Assembly Bill 798):

The legislation removes restrictions on ambulances owned and operated by a fire department from one of the more than 100 federally recognized Native American tribes in the state that had treated them essentially the same as those operated by the private sector.

Additionally, a vehicle owned or operated by a federally recognized tribe would be considered an authorized emergency vehicle when responding to emergency calls, according to AB 798.

Already in force

Permit points for distracted driving (Assembly Law 47):

It was already illegal to use a cell phone while driving before AB 47 entered into force on July 1, 2021. But now, because of the bill, anyone caught violating the law hands-free for the second time within 36 months of a previous conviction for the same offense will see a point added to his driver’s record.

Violations include talking or texting while holding a smartphone, and any use of such devices by a driver under the age of 18.

Look ahead

Class C drivers licensed to tow a Senate trailer (Bill 287):

The CHP also shed light on this bill, which was also approved by the California legislature and signed by Newsom this year, but which will not be effectively implemented until January 1, 2027.

The law would allow drivers with a Class C license to tow a trailer 10,001 to 15,000 pounds gross weight rating or gross vehicle weight using a fifth wheel and king pin hitch or gooseneck connection mounted on the bed, but only under a prescribed set of circumstances.

First, the towing cannot be for compensatory or commercial purposes. Second, the trailer should only be used for recreational purposes and for transporting goods or living space, or both. Finally, the driver must pass a specialized written exam and have a mention on his license.

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