SAN DIEGO — The Automobile Club of Southern California is reminding drivers to be aware of several new traffic laws rolling out in the new year.
Here are some of the measures that will take effect Sunday:
- Street racing and sideshows: The California State Legislature adopted AB 2000 in an effort to stop illegal street racing. The law expands speed contest crimes to include those that take place in parking lots.
- Catalytic converter thefts: The reoccurring crime has prompted California lawmakers to adopt two measures related to the buying and selling of catalytic converters. AB 1740 prohibits a recycler from purchasing or receiving a catalytic converter from anyone that is not a commercial enterprise or verifiable owner of the vehicle from which the catalytic converter was removed. Also, SB 1087 prohibits anyone, including a recycler, from purchasing a catalytic converter from anyone other than certain specified sellers, including an automobile dismantler, an automotive repair dealer or someone with documentation showing that they are the catalytic converter’s lawful owner.
- Driver assistance systems: A manufacturer or dealer under SB 1398 will not be allowed to feature or describe any partial driving automation feature in written marketing materials implying that the feature allows the vehicle to function as an autonomous vehicle when it doesn’t have that functionality. Providing the purchasers with information on the limitations and functions of the partial driving automation feature will also be required.
- Traffic and pedestrian stops: First, under AB 2537, a video showing the proper conduct between a peace officer and a driver during a traffic stop will be put together by the Department of Justice and will be included in the DMV’s driver’s education curriculum. Second, “jaywalking” cannot be a reason for a peace officer to stop a pedestrian unless there is an immediate danger of a crash occurring, per AB 2147. Third, but not until Jan. 1, 2024, a peace officer must state the reason for a traffic or pedestrian stop before asking investigatory questions unless the officer believes there is an imminent threat to life or property, according to AB 2773.
- Bicycles: A statewide ban that prevented class 3 electric bicycles from bike paths or trails, bikeways, bike lanes, equestrian trails or hiking and recreational trails will be lifted, according to AB 1909. The measure won’t allow local authorities to ban electric bikes on bike paths, but does allow the Department of Parks and Recreation to ban electric bicycles on a bike path or trail within its jurisdiction. Lastly, AB 1909 requires a vehicle that is passing a bike in the same direction to move over one traffic lane, when possible.