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New Year Means New California Traffic Safety Laws

As San Diego injury lawyers, we want our readers to be aware of several new traffic safety laws that are now in effect in California. The new laws address several important issues, including school bus safety, proper child restraints, and cell phone use behind wheel.

Below is a brief summary of the new traffic safety laws:

Use of Electronic Devices: Under California’s amended distracted driving law, it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or an electronic wireless communications device unless the device is specifically designed and configured to allow voice-operated and hands-free operation, and it is used in that manner while driving. Drivers may operate the devices while driving provided that they are properly mounted according to the law, and the driver’s hand is used to activate or deactivate a feature or function of the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger.

Car Seats: Under new child safety seat requirements, children under two years of age must ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat. Children weighing 40 or more pounds, or standing 40 or more inches tall, are exempt. California law continues to require that all children under the age of eight be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

School Bus Safety: A new law requires school buses and all other motor vehicles used to transport school-age children be equipped with a "child safety alert system." Every school is also required to have a transportation safety plan with procedures to prevent a student from being left unattended in a vehicle.

Charter Bus Safety: In response to several tragic charter bus crashes, all buses manufactured after July 1, 2020, will be required to have emergency lighting fixtures that will turn on in the event of an impact or collision. The law also requires a bus company to verify that the bus driver provides oral and written, or video instructions to all passengers on safety equipment and emergency exits on the bus prior to any trip.

If you or someone you love has suffered serious injury in a California motor vehicle accident, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. We have the knowledge and experience to obtain the compensation that injury victims deserve.