January 3, 2023 Social Share
New Laws In The New Year Address Jaywalking, Passing Bicyclists, Workplace Safety
New laws for jaywalking, workplace safety, bicycle safety, sideshows, and other roadway safety rules kicked in for California in the New Year.
Below are numerous new laws that go into effect for the New Year. These laws are relevant for Chain | Cohn | Clark legal practices, as the law firm handles accident and injury cases.
Jaywalking (Assembly Bill 2147): Pedestrians can cross the street outside an intersection or crosswalk without being ticketed as long as it is safe to do so. The new law, also known as The Freedom to Walk Act, was first introduced by Assemblymember Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who argued jaywalking bills are arbitrarily enforced, and unequally impact poor people and people of color. The bill defines when an officer can stop and cite a pedestrian for jaywalking, and prohibits officer citations “unless a reasonably careful person would realize there is an immediate danger” of a collision with a vehicle or bicyclist. A nationwide study listed Bakersfield as the No. 2 most dangerous metropolitan area in the United States to be a pedestrian. Learn more about the new law here.
Workplace Safety (Senate Bill 1044): This new law prohibits an employer from taking or threatening adverse action against any employee for refusing to come to work, or leaving, if the employee has a “reasonable belief” that the workplace or work site is unsafe. That includes taking an employee’s mobile device and preventing him or her from seeking help. It also requires an employee to notify the employer of the emergency condition requiring the employee to leave or refuse to report to the workplace or work site. The bill clarifies that these provisions are not intended to apply when emergency conditions that pose an imminent and ongoing risk of harm to the workplace, the worksite, the worker, or the worker’s home have ceased. Learn more about this law here.
Passing Bicyclists (Assembly Bill 1909): Previously, California law required vehicles to maintain 3 feet distance when passing bicycles headed in the same direction, but a new law will now require vehicles to move into another lane “with due regard for safety and traffic conditions, if practicable and not prohibited by law.” New federal crash statistics show more people died on our country’s roadways in 2021 than any year since 2005, and deaths of bicyclists were up 5%.
Vehicular Manslaughter (Senate Bill 1472): The law expands what classifies for “gross negligence” when relating to the crime of vehicular manslaughter. Drivers who participate in sideshows, racing or speeding over 100 miles per hour, which results in a fatality could now be charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
Motor Vehicle Speed Contests and Exhibitions of Speed (Asembly Bill 2000): Parking lots and off-street parking structures will now be included as locations where is illegal to participate in races, burnouts, speeding, or sideshow activities.
Hit-and-Run Incidents, “Yellow Alert” (Assembly Bill 1732): Law enforcement agencies can request the CHP to activate a “Yellow Alert” when a fatal hit-and-run crash has taken place, and will also allow media outlets to circulate information included in a “Yellow Alert”. The new law will use the public’s tips and assistance to help law enforcement agencies throughout the state investigate ongoing hit-and-run crashes.
Electric Bicycles, Safety and Training Program (Assembly Bill 1946): CHP will be required to work with other traffic safety stakeholders, such as the California Office of Traffic Safety, to develop statewide safety and training programs for electric bicycles. The training program will include electric bicycle riding safety, emergency maneuver skills, rules of the road and e-bike laws. The program will launch in September 2023 via the CHP’s website. Class 3 e-bicycle riders will also now be allowed to use approved bicycle paths and trails, bikeways, and bicycle lanes. This law will prohibit local governments from requiring bicycle registration and allow local authorities to prohibit any electric bicycle on a horse, hiking or other recreational trails.
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else, or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Clark by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form, text, or chat with us at chainlaw.com.