New Rules for California Residents in 2016

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Last month, this blog covered some of the rules that are new for 2016 detailing directions that motorists must follow while driving in the State of California. These laws are a result of thousands of bills signed by Governor Jerry Brown. While many of these laws came into effect on January 1, 2016, some of these laws will not come into effect until January 1, 2017 to ensure that enough time exists for the regulations to be enforced. In an effort to fully prepare motorists and bicyclists for the new rules that exist or are soon to exist in the state of California, this blog will take efforts to explain all of the transportation related laws that were not covered in last month’s blogs.

Motorist Arrests

Under a new regulation, a motorist can be arrested if the motorist fails to present a driver’s licenses, other satisfactory evidence of identity, and an unobstructed view of the motorist’s face for examination when stopped for a vehicle code infraction or misdemeanor. To prevent being placed in jail, motorists are best to remember certain things when driving including secondary identification when driving a motor vehicle, and to listen to the requests of law enforcement if asked to present an unobstructed view of one’s face.

Bicycles With Solid Flashing Lights

In accordance with new regulations in the California vehicle code, Bicycles are now authorized to have a solid or flashing red light with a built-in reflector on the rear in place of the required red reflector. The California legislature hopes that this addition to bicycles will help prevent a number of bicycle accidents from occurring because motorists will spot the red lights on the bicycles and know to drive more carefully. As a result, it might not be a bad idea for a bicyclist to add a solid or flashing red light to one’s bicycle to help diminish the risk of accidents.


While not necessarily linked to bicyclist safety, bicyclists nevertheless should know that California’s Streets and Highway Code now prohibits the placing of tolls on pedestrians and bicyclists on toll bridges. This means that bicyclists in California and pedestrians need now not pay tolls for crossing over Antioch Bridge, Benicia-Martinez Bridge, Carquinez Bridge, Dumbarton Bridge, Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge or any other bridge in California. While it is still advised that pedestrians and bicyclists carry money on them in the case of an emergency or a phone call, these individuals need not carry toll money with them to cross over bridges.

Toll Bridges Can Use Center Median

Under California’s vehicle code, tow trucks are now authorized to use the center median or right shoulder of a highway in the event of an emergency that requires the immediate removal of traffic impediments assuming specific conditions are met. It remains to be seen whether this new law will create more dangerous situations or enable to better help California motorists who find themselves with debris in need of immediate removal from California Highways. Needless to say, it will now not be an unheard of sight to see tow trucks in California parked along the center median or right shoulder.

Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee

California code now creates a Collateral Recovery Disciplinary Review Committee, which is designed to review a licensee’s contestation of an administrative fine or an applicant’s license denial. This law also makes several other changes to the Collateral Recovery Act related to licensed repossession agencies. To give California enough time to prepare for the implementation of this law, this law will not come into effect until July 1, 2017, by which time California will have been able to devote the time and energy towards the creation of these committees.

Identification for California Driver’s License

In another addition to California’s vehicle code that is not strictly related to safety but helps understand the requirements for various motorists to travel on California roads, applicants for a California driver’s license must now present either an original driver’s license or an identification card to establish California residency. As a result, individuals who are filing for California driver’s licenses should make sure to bring either original driver’s licenses or other forms of identification or the license will not be granted.


Under the new laws of California, California’s vehicle code now expands the definition of pedicab to include pedal-powered vehicles that can carry up to 15 passengers and creates minimum operational and equipment requirements.

A pedicab is a human-powdered public passenger vehicle that is used to transport passengers for hire. While pedicabs that are driven correctly can be a safer option as opposed to cars, taxis, and other motorized forms of transportation, pedicabs still get into accidents due to failure to follow the road. When these pedicab accidents occur, there is little protection offered to the pedicab’s passengers. Pedicabs also do not have airbags or other protective devices in case an accident occurs. Therefore, even a slight bump to a pedicab could passengers to fall out of the vehicle and hurt themselves. Not to mention, some pedicab companies fail to carry adequate insurance or protection for riders of the pedicab.

There are also several dangerous issues related to the drivers of pedicabs because drivers are not required to hold a license and literally anyone, even someone with little to no training, can be the operator of a pedicab. Many pedicab drivers are also from European and other countries which means that the drivers might not be familiar with American traffic laws.


To ensure compliance with these new laws in California, residents should be sure to do the following:

To avoid arrest, have a secondary form of identification and show your face.
Be careful while traveling in pedicabs.
Understanding the law can be difficult, especially when involved in a car accident. If you have been in a crash caused by a driver who was not acting with a reasonable level of care – such as a speeding driver who hit the pedicab in which you were riding – you need the legal services of the Oceanside auto attorneys at The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers. Contact us today to get started.

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