Whether you’re getting a California driver’s license for the first time or you are a veteran driver, brushing up on the state traffic laws is never a bad idea. While laws for drivers are about the same in most states, it’s important to be familiar with any unique traffic regulations where you live. Here are XX of the most important California driving laws to keep in mind next time you hit the road.
Phone Mount Laws
In response to drivers who had their traffic ticket lawyer argue a distracted driving ticket by claiming they were holding the phone to use the GPS feature, a new law now requires drivers to use the GPS only when the phone is mounted. The mount must be placed on the dashboard or on the lower right or lower left corner of the windshield. In addition, monitors that are visible to the driver are allowed to show only traffic information, music player, or satellite radio information.
It is illegal to smoke with a minor in the car in California. Breaking this law carries a fine of $100. However, a vehicle cannot be stopped strictly for smoking unless the officer suspects or has witnessed another driving offense.
As many states including California legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use, lawmakers must consider the effects of cannabis use behind the wheel. This 2018 law makes it illegal to smoke, vape, and otherwise consume marijuana while driving or riding in a vehicle.
Restrictions for Uber and Lyft Drivers
Drivers who earn money by transporting passengers through a third-party such as Uber and Lyft now must maintain a blood alcohol level of no higher than .04 while doing so, half of the .08 blood alcohol level allowed for drivers in general. This holds those who make money while driving others to increased safety standards.
Right Turn on Red
California is one of a few states where it’s legal to make a right turn on a red light as long as no other vehicles are approaching. Be aware of signs that indicate the exceptions, since you can be ticketed for making a right turn on red at prohibited intersections.
Passing on the Inside
In many states, the left lane is reserved as the passing lane. In California, however, it’s OK to pass in either lane as long as you do so safely. Make sure the lane is properly marked and does not have passing restrictions before passing another car.
HOV Decal Program
Starting in 2019, those who drive a low-emissions vehicle will be allowed to use the carpool lane regardless of the number of passengers. In addition, drivers who have green or white carpool lane decals issued in 2017 and 2018 must apply for a new decal before January 1, 2019.
If you need a traffic ticket lawyer San Francisco, get in touch with our team of attorneys. They can help advocate for your rights if you’ve been accused of a traffic offense.
Nicole Hicks a graduate of UFT. She’s based in Toronto but travels much of the year. Nicole has written for NPR, Motherboard, MSN Money, and the Huffington Post. Nicole is a financial reporter, focusing on technology, national security, and policing.