New California laws for 2022 meant to reduce auto accidents

On Behalf of Griswold LaSalle Cobb Dowd & Gin LLP

In California, the start of the new year has brought with it changes to several state laws. Three directly impact driving and are designed to improve road safety. One is meant to address drivers who speed to show off. Another is related to distracted driving. The third centers on local speed limits. The obvious goal is to reduce accidents However, it is imperative to know why these laws were put into effect and to understand that many accidents occur because drivers flout the rules of the road. After an accident in which people have suffered injuries or there has been a fatality, the circumstances are essential to deciding on a comprehensive strategy in its aftermath.

Laws intend to make the roads safer for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians

The new hands-free law mandates that drivers who are caught a second time within 36 months of having been convicted of the same violation will have a point added to their driving record. Points on a license can result in higher insurance and an accumulation will eventually lead to a suspension of driving privileges. Because distracted driving is such a daily concern and is getting worse with the litany of ways in which drivers can be tempted to remove their focus from the road, this should be factored in when heading out.

Lower speed limits can be implemented by local municipalities. This will be based on research about accidents and is specifically pointed at helping bicyclists and pedestrians be safer. The law for “sideshow” behaviors will go into effect on July 1, 2025 where drivers will have their license suspended for six months if they took part. This includes blocking traffic so drivers can perform stunts, drive at excessive speeds and behave recklessly for others to watch. Despite the three-plus years before this starts, it is already a continuing issue and it can cause crashes.

Even with newly passed laws, drivers are still likely to commit violations

Any person who takes to the road as a driver, passenger, bicyclist or pedestrian will witness others who might be ignoring the fundamentals for safety and breaking the law. These newly passed regulations are something of a crackdown on common ways in which auto accidents have been happening in recent years. Even with them in place, it does not mean drivers will adhere to them. Unfortunately, accidents with catastrophic injuries and death will cause financial, personal and emotional consequences to those who were involved or lost a loved one. After a collision, the entire situation must be scrutinized to assess the cause and take appropriate action. Having advice is useful from the start.


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