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New 2020 California Traffic Laws

Posted by Robert Berglund | Jan 16, 2020 | 0 Comments

Several new Vehicle Code laws took effect on January 1, 2020, including the following:

  • Vehicle Code section 27151, which prohibits a person from "modifying" an exhaust system to exceed "noise limits," is now a correctable violation as it relates to cars.  As we discuss on our Traffic Tickets page, a correctable violation, also known as a "Fix-It Ticket," is a charge that can be dismissed if the driver "fixes" or corrects the problem.  Previously, a loud exhaust violation was not a correctable violation, meaning if convicted the person would be ordered to pay a fine.  Note that loud exhaust as it relates to motorcycles is not a correctable violation.
  • Vehicle Code section 23229, in association with multiple other Vehicle Code sections, prohibits passengers in taxis, buses, pedicabs, limousines, housecars or campers from consuming marijuana.
  • Vehicle Code section 21809 has been amended to include "waste service vehicles."  This section requires a driver on a freeway approaching a stationary authorized emergency vehicle that is displaying emergency lights to change lanes so that they are not in the lane directly next to the emergency vehicle, unless it is not safe to change lanes in which case the driver must slow down.  This section also makes this a requirement for vehicles approaching a stationary tow truck or a stationary marked Department of Transportation vehicle that is displaying flashing amber warning lights.  
  • Vehicle Code section 22101(e)(1) will allow bicyclists to travel straight through a right or left turn only lane at an intersection, as long as there is a traffic signal that indicates it's allowed.  Previously, bicyclists were prohibited from doing so and had to follow the same signals as motor vehicles.  

In addition, a new law regarding cell phone violations was signed and will go into effect July 1, 2021:

  • Vehicle Code sections 23123 and 23123.5 prohibit a person from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone in a handheld manner.  A violation of either of these sections is punishable by a fine.  At the present time a conviction does not result in a point being assessed to a person's driving record.  However, the July 1, 2021 amendment to the law will make this a "moving" violation, meaning if convicted then one point will be assessed to the driving record if the driver has a prior conviction for the same offense within the previous 3 years.  

If you have received a traffic ticket, either for a moving violation or a correctable one, CONTACT our office today.  Berglund Law Office, P.C. has help hundreds of clients with their Los Angeles traffic tickets.

About the Author

Robert Berglund

Attorney Robert D. Berglund specializes in representing persons arrested on suspicion of Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or marijuana...

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