CHP Highlights New California Laws Going Into Effect in 2020

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Drivers make their way on the US 101 freeway on August 30, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Drivers make their way on the US 101 freeway on August 30, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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As Californians prepare to ring in a new year — and a new decade — CHP is urging motorists to be ready for a slate of new laws set to take effect in 2020 that will impact road safety.

The new rules govern how bicyclists can travel through turn lanes, revoke an exemption that allowed some passengers to consume marijuana, and create a major step toward allowing roadkill to be salvaged, among other things.

The laws are set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release Tuesday. Here are the ones CHP highlighted:

Bicyclists at Turn Lanes

Under Assembly Bill 1266, bicyclists will be permitted to travel straight through turn lanes — right and left — at intersections, so long as the traffic light indicates such movement is allowed. Caltrans will develop the standards to implement the provisions, as required by the law.

Passengers Prohibited From Consuming Cannabis 

Assembly Bill 1820 ends an exemption that allowed passengers to consume marijuana while in a bus, limousine, taxi, pedicab, housecar or camper. While passengers in any of those vehicles will no longer be able to ingest cannabis, they will still be able to drink alcohol.

Another provision in the same bill authorizes motor carriers of property to operate for up to 30 days past the permit’s expiration date under some circumstances.

Wildlife Salvage Permits

When Senate Bill 395 goes into effect in January, the legislation won’t allow the general public to collect and eat animals fatally struck on California roads. But it does authorize the Fish and Game Commission, in conjunction with CHP, to start creating a pilot program that would allow people to apply for a permit to remove and recover deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and wild pigs that have been killed by a car — so long as the wild game meat is for human consumption.

SB 395 also directs the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to collect wildlife-collision date in support of conservation efforts.

Peace Officer Use of Deadly Force 

Assembly Bill 392 limits when a law enforcement officer can use deadly force. It revises the standard under which homicide by peace officer is justified to when an officer “reasonably believes” it necessary.

This includes when they’re defending against the imminent threat of death, or serious injury to themselves or another individual.

Training for Use of Deadly Force Policies 

As AB 392 takes effect,  Senate Bill 230 mandates law enforcement agencies rewrite use of force policies and provide officers with mandatory training in order to comply with the new law.

2021 Distracted Driving Law Highlighted

CHP also highlighted one law that was passed this year but does not go into effect until July 1, 2021. That’s Assembly Bill 47, which will further penalize distracted drivers by adding a point to their license for using a handheld device while behind the wheel.

When the law goes into effect, drivers convicted of violating the state’s hands-free law could receive a point on their record for the subsequent 36 months.

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