Traffic safety authorities were anything but idle last year, as is obvious from the long list of new laws recently announced that took effect from January 1.
Those enactments run a wide gamut of concerns relevant to motorized vehicles and other types of transport. Today’s blog post notes some of the more central statutory dictates that now apply to passenger-vehicle drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and other parties.
One material change in California’s traffic laws applies to children. Previous law mandated that only children less than one year old be securely fastened in a rear-facing safety seat. The new law pushes that age limit out to two years of age, with all children in the state beneath that threshold now being required to use back-facing restraint systems, excepting those who are at least 40 inches in height or weigh 40 pounds or more.
Another change that will affect some vehicles — and now, also, bicycles on roadways — requires their operators to timely pull off the road if they are traveling so slowly that five or more vehicles are backed up behind them.
Given the seeming ubiquity of skateboarders across Los Angeles County and the rest of Southern California, some of our readers might be wholly unsurprised to note that new law now governs the use of so-called “electric skateboards.” Advocates of that conveyance might want to check into the new requirements regarding speed limits, board configurations and age-use standards.
Myriad other enactments also took effect, in areas ranging from rental car recalls and passenger-driver earphone use to DUI-related restrictions in a pilot program and hit-and-run alerts.
All of those laws are of course intimately tied to the goal of reducing serious and fatal traffic accidents across the state. To the extent they help accomplish that aim, they should of course be applauded.