9 New CA Traffic Laws New Every Driver Should Know For 2024
9 New CA Traffic Laws New Every Driver Should Know For 2024

9 New CA Traffic Laws New Every Driver Should Know For 2024

CALIFORNIA — “Do you know why I pulled you over?”

Beginning Jan. 1, 2024, it will be illegal for law enforcement officers in California to ask that question to drivers after they’ve been pulled over. In fact, the law, AB 2773, will require officers to tell drivers why they’ve stopped them before they can ask any questions.

That’s just one of the changes California motorists can expect in the New Year. There’s a number of new laws taking effect beginning Jan. 1, covering everything from low riders to bike lanes.

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Here’s a roundup of some of the most significant changes impacting California drivers in 2024:

Legalizing low-rider cruising

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Classic cars, low riders and cruising are an integral part of California culture — and things that were often targeted with local bans. AB 436 prohibits cities and counties from enacting bans on cruising or low riders, making cruising legal across the state for the first time in decades.

Advocates say cruising bans unfairly targeted Latinos, for whom cruising is a significant piece of cultural expression.

Rolling out speed cameras

AB 645 authorized a pilot program that will allow six cities — Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, Glendale, Oakland and San Jose — to install speed cameras through 2031. The program will allow cities to send tickets automatically to drivers caught speeding by 11 mph or more using roadside cameras.

Stopping near crosswalks restricted

Drivers will be prohibited from parking or stopping a vehicle along a curb within 20 feet of a marked crosswalk. The safety measure is known as “daylighting,” and applies only to the side of the road of the vehicle’s approach to a crosswalk. The law, AB 413, is meant to improve visibility of pedestrians in crosswalks and reduce collisions.

Erasing VINs from catalytic converters prohibited

It will be a misdemeanor to remove or alter VINs or other markings added to catalytic converters. It will also be a misdemeanor to possess three catalytic converters that have had their identifiers removed or altered. AB 1519 is meant to address catalytic converter thefts, which have increased across the state in recent years.

Catalytic converter ownership restriction
It will be a misdemeanor for a person to possess nine or more used catalytic converters that have been cut from a vehicle, unless they have the proper licensure. The law, AB 641, is meant to address the increase in catalytic converter theft in California.

Skipping traffic school no longer a crime

Previously, law-breakers who were ordered to attend traffic school were guilty of a misdemeanor if they failed to go to class. It will now no longer be a crime to skip traffic school as part of AB 466. Advocates argued the punishment was excessive and could cause undue hardship, as punishment is already handed down as points on a violator’s license.

Bicyclists can follow pedestrian crossing signals

One part of a 2022 package of bike-related legislation, AB 1909, will go into effect on Jan. 1. Bicyclists will be allowed to advance not just on a green light, but also on a pedestrian walk signal, according to the California Bicycle Coalition.

Bike-lane parking enforcement boosted

Cities and counties will be allowed to install automated cameras to record and ticket drivers who illegally park in bike lanes. The law, AB 361, sunsets in 2030.

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