new law

2016: New Laws

Happy New Year. Hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable holiday.

January 1 didn't only ring in the new year, it ushered in new laws from California motorists. Whether you're driving, bicycling or skateboarding, new rules apply.

Below you will find a list of new transportation related laws from Police Sergeant Anthony Kockler. If you have any question you can contact Sgt. Kockler directly at akockler@ci.atherton.ca.us


Headsets and Skateboards

Earbuds or Headsets (SB 491, Transportation Committee): This law, among other things, makes it unlawful to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. This prohibition does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs. For more information, reference California Vehicle Code section 27400.

Electrically Motorized Skateboards (AB 604, Olsen): This law defines “electrically motorized board,” and restricts their operation on public facilities, requires boards to be equipped with safety equipment, and authorizes cities and counties to regulate their use. It also makes it a crime to operate an electrically motorized board while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the law limits the board’s operation to individuals 16 years or older, requires operators to wear a bicycle helmet, wear safety equipment to increase visibility at night, and limits their operation to roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. A conviction for violating this law is punishable by a fine of up $250. For more information, reference California Vehicle Code sections 313.5, 21290 to 21296, and 21968.

electric bike

Electric Bikes & TNC's

Electric Bicycles (AB 1096, Chiu): This law adds an entirely new definition of an electric bicycle to the California Vehicle Code. An electric bicycle is defined as a bicycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. The law creates three classes of electric bicycles. Manufacturers will also need to certify the electric bicycles comply with specified requirements. Electric bicycle riders will be able to use roads similar to other bicycle riders, while providing a measure of local control if safety concerns arise on specific paths or public trails. For more information, reference California Vehicle Code sections 312.5, 406, 12804.9, 21207.5, 21213, and 24016.

Transportation Network Companies (AB 1422, Cooper): This new law requires a transportation network company (TNC) to participate in the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program. TNCs provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform, to connect drivers using their personal vehicles with passengers. The program will provide each TNC with a report showing a driver’s current public record, as recorded by the department, and immediate notifications of moving violations, accidents, driver license suspensions, revocations, and other actions taken against the driving privilege. The DMV’s EPN program provides employers and regulatory agencies with a means of promoting driver safety through the ongoing review of driver records. For more information, reference California Public Utilities Code section 5444


Voting and Residency

California New Motor Voter Program (AB 1461, Gonzalez): This law creates an automatic voter registration process for qualified individuals who apply for a driver license or identification card, or submit a change of address to the DMV. The law will require that DMV implement the New Motor Voter Act no later than one year after the Secretary of State certifies all of the following: the state has a statewide voter registration database that complies with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Section 20901 et seq.), the Legislature, has appropriated the funds necessary for the Secretary of State and DMV to implement and maintain the program, and the Secretary of State has adopted regulations to implement the law. For more information, reference California Election Code sections 2260 to 2270.

California Residency Requirement (AB 1465, Gordon): This law will require an applicant for an original driver license or identification card to provide proof of California state residency, starting July 1, 2016 and it will bring DMV into compliance with a federal law requirement. The DMV will need to adopt regulations relating to the procedures for verifying that the applicant is a California resident. For more information, reference California Vehicle Code section 12801.5.
Chief Flint

Thank You

For a complete list of new 2016 transportation related laws please visit the DMV website.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Sgt. Kockler for questions regarding traffic rules and regulations.

Thank you and Happy New Year.

Ed Flint
Chief of Police

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