Sarah Richards, CommanderOffice of Community Outreach & Media Relations601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Fran CladerDirector of Communications(916) 843-3310
Calif. – As 2020 comes to a close, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) wants to
highlight some new roadway safety laws that take effect in 2021.
License points for distracted
driving (AB 47, Daly; 2019): Using a cell phone in a handheld manner while
driving is currently punishable by a fine.
Beginning July 1, 2021, violating the hands-free law for a second time
within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a
point being added to a driver’s record. This
applies to the violations of talking or texting while driving
(except for hands-free use) and to any use of these devices while driving by a
person under 18 years of age.
Unattended children in motor
vehicles (AB 2717, Chau): Exempts a person from civil or criminal
liability for trespassing or damaging a vehicle when rescuing a child who is 6
years old or younger and who is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of
ventilation, or other dangerous circumstances.
The law takes effect January 1, 2021.
“Move Over, Slow Down” amendments
(AB 2285, Transportation Committee): Extends the provisions of the “Move Over, Slow
Down” law currently in place on freeways to also apply to local streets and
roads so drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying
emergency lights, including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles, must now move to
another lane when possible, or slow to a reasonable speed on all highways, not
just freeways. The law is effective
January 1, 2021.
Emergency vehicles (SB 909,
Dodd): Allows authorized emergency vehicles
to use a “Hi-Lo” warning sound. This
distinctive sound, different than a siren, would be used to notify the public
of an immediate need to evacuate an area in an emergency. The CHP is currently developing regulations to
standardize the Hi-Lo warning sound statewide.
Until the regulations are adopted, law enforcement agencies can use the
Hi-Lo warning sound by obtaining a permit from the CHP. The law went into effect September 29, 2020.The
mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and
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