by Photo courtesy of California Highway Patrol

California Highway Patrol officials announced new traffic safety-related laws that will take effect in 2023 that were passed during the legislative season and signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

The following laws are set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023:

Vehicular manslaughter: Speeding and Reckless Driving (SB 1472, Stern)

This law expands the criteria for “gross negligence'' to include drivers involved in sideshow activity, exhibition of speed or speeding over 100 mph resulting in a fatality.

Motor Vehicle Speed Contests and Exhibitions of Speed (AB 2000, Gabriel)

Parking lots and off-street parking facilities will be included as locations where it is a crime to engage in speed contests, exhibitions of speed or sideshow activities.

Pedestrians (AB 2147, Ting)

This bill prohibits police officers from stopping pedestrians for certain pedestrian-specific violations such as crossing the road outside of a crosswalk unless there is an immediate danger of a crash.

Electric Bicycles: Safety and Training Program (AB 1946, Boerner Horvath)

This requires the CHP to work with other traffic safety stakeholders to develop statewide safety and training programs fro electric bicycles. 

Bicycles Omnibus Bill (AB 1909, Friedman)

The bill provides increased protections for bicyclists by requiring vehicles passing or overtaking them in the same direction to move over to an adjacent traffic lane if one is available, or slow down and only pass the bicyclist when it is safe to do so.

Hit-and-Run Incidents: Yellow Alert (AB 1732, Patterson)

Authorizes law enforcement agencies to request the CHP to activate a “Yellow Alert'' for fatal hit-and-run crashes. The law also encourages local media to disseminate the information contained in a Yellow Alert.

Public Employment: Peace officers: Citizenship (Senate Bill 960, Skinner)

Removes the requirement that peace officers, including trainees, must be citizens or permanent residents of the United States.

Vehicles: Catalytic Converters (SB 1087, Gonzalez) 

Intends to help reduce catalytic converter theft by requiring recyclers to keep documentation such as the year, make, model and copy of the vehicle title from which the catalytic converter was removed.

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