Important Changes Affecting California Drivers
Electronic Wireless Device Usage
California drivers are now prohibited from holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or electronic communications device while driving, unless it is mounted on the vehicle's windshield, or affixed to a dashboard or center console in a way that does not hinder the individual's view of the road. Under Assembly Bill 1785, a motorist can only use his or her hand to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device that requires a single swipe or tap. The law does not apply to systems that are installed by manufacturers and embedded in the vehicle. The legislation marks a change from the existing policy, which states any person operating a motor vehicle cannot use a wireless electronic device to write, send or read a text-based communication, except through voice-operated and hands-free features.
Child Safety Seats
Assembly Bill 53 extends a requirement that children under 2 years old must sit in an approved rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless he or she is more than 40 pounds, or is taller than 40 inches. Motorcycle Lane Splitting
California became the first state in the U.S. to formally legalize lane splitting when Gov. Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 51 in August. The law went into effect January 1st, 2017, and defines the practice as a motorist driving a two-wheeled motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles.