New Traffic Laws for California Drivers to Know in 2022

June 4, 2022

From equestrian safety and amended traffic regulations, various laws that the California Legislature approved and Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law took effect at the start of the New Year, January 1, 2022, unless otherwise stated.

Assembly Bill 798: Tribal Emergency Vehicles

This law provides that all vehicles operated or owned by federally recognized Indian tribes are considered authorized emergency vehicles when used for emergencies, lifesaving calls, or fires. Before, tribes must have a license to operate emergency vehicles.

Assembly Bill 974: Equestrian Safety Gear

All individuals under 18 years old are required to wear a properly fastened and fitted helmet when riding equestrian animals, such as horses, donkeys, or mules, on paved highways. AB 974 likewise requires riders to wear and equip their equines with a lamp or reflective gear when riding past sundown.

On the other hand, people riding their equestrian animals in a festival or parade or crossing paved roadways from unpaved roads are exempt from the reflective gear, lighting, and helmet requirements.

Assembly Bill 3: Sideshow Penalties and Definition

AB 3 raises the penalties for people convicted of exhibiting speed if the speeding violation happened during a sideshow. Starting July 1, 2025, courts will be allowed to suspend the offender’s driver’s license for 90 days up to six months. A sideshow is defined as an event where two or more vehicles impede or obstruct traffic on the highway to perform motor vehicle stunts, exhibitions of speeds, speed contests, or reckless driving for an audience.

The courts would need to consider the offender’s family, personal, or medical hardship that requires the driver to have a license before when considering license suspension.

Assembly Bill 47: License Points Incurred for Distracted Driving

If a driver violates California’s hands-free law for the second time in 36 months after getting convicted of the same offense, they will incur a point for distracted driving on their driver’s record. This also applies to violations involving texting or talking while driving and any usage of these devices while behind the wheel by drivers under 18 years old.

Senate Bill 287: Class C Drivers Will Be Permitted to Tow Trailers

Beginning January 1, 2027, Class C driver’s license holders will be allowed to operate vehicles towing trailers that have a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds up to 15,000 pounds, or with a bed-mounted gooseneck or kingpin and fifth-wheel, as long as the trailer is utilized solely for transporting living space, property, or both.

Get In Touch With a Seasoned CA Car Accident Lawyer Now

Traffic accidents often occur when a motorist decides to violate the law, and their negligent actions endanger the safety of other road users. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or vehicle damage in a car crash because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right to fair compensation.

To learn more about your rights and options for financial recovery, you can reach Bamieh & De Smeth and arrange a free case evaluation with our CA car accident lawyer by calling 805-643-5555 or reaching us online.