• Richa Shetty

California Driving Laws (Drivers Must Read Quick-Book)

California is made for road trips. An easy-to-navigate network of more than 50,000 miles (80,467 kilometers) of good-quality highways and motorways links just about every corner of the state, with secondary routes leading to even more under-the-radar finds.

Some of these roads are famous—Highway 1 along the Pacific Coast, legendary Route 66, and Avenue of the Giants (Highway 101 winding through towering redwoods). In this article, we will walk you through the topmost important laws, rules, and regulations for driving in California. Read further about Uber CEO Threatens Future Shutdown in California

No matter where you drive, remember the basic rules of the road. Below is a rundown of the laws everyone should know before getting behind the wheel in California, along with a few resources to get you the travel information you need. Read further about Top 7 Essential Road Safety Rules for Drivers


When to Report a Vehicle Accident in California:

Employees must immediately notify their supervisor or manager of an accident involving a County vehicle or personal vehicle while conducting County business. For County-owned vehicles, the employee is to complete a Vehicle Accident Report (see Accident Reporting Kit section) to document the details of the accident and to report to the local law enforcement agency when required. An incident report is to be completed for accidents that involve personal vehicles. Explore more about How Fleet Management Software Can Help in Accident Reconstruction for Your Fleet?


Policy for Investigating Violations and Complaints:

The County has an established policy for investigating violations and complaints, as well as providing early notification to employees of problems concerning driving records. The policy includes notification to supervisors if problems continue, and in some cases, may include corrective/disciplinary action as warranted depending on the specific circumstances.

As with any employee relations matter, each incident is investigated and appropriate action is taken on a case-by-case basis. The general criteria for reviewing violations and investigating complaints is as follows:

  1. Liability exposure

  2. The seriousness of the offense

  3. Number of offenses

  4. Frequency of offenses

Also Read: What Violations Leads you to pay E-challan(Fine)? And How to Avoid It?


Mandatory personal safety measures:

California law states that everyone in a vehicle must wear a seat belt, and motorcyclists must wear a helmet.


Speed limits:

Speed limits are posted in miles per hour (mph). Generally, the speed limit on multi-lane motorways is 65 mph, although in some areas it is 70 mph. On single-carriageway roads, the limit is generally 55 mph. The speed limit on city streets is usually 35 mph, although in residential areas and near schools the limit is generally 25 mph. Find out How Accurate is GPS Speed in a Vehicle Tracking System?


Speed Limit Enforcement:

In many areas of California, speed limits are enforced by aircraft, meaning excessive speeds are detected from the air by an aircraft you can’t see, then radioed into a police car which will pull you over. There are also speed-detecting roadside cameras. The best policy is to stay within the speed limit. MUST read How Does Software Which Handles Fleet Management Assist In Monitoring Vehicle Speed?


Eyes-On-The-Road Laws:

It is against the law in California to write, send or read text-based messages while driving, and drivers must use a hands-free device when speaking on a mobile phone to ensure driver safety.


Harsher Penalties for Holding a Phone While Driving:

Driving while holding a phone is already an offense in California. However, the penalties are about to get stiffer according to Assembly Bill 47. Assembly Bill 47 says if a distracted driving violation occurs on or after July 1, 2021, a point will be added to the driver’s record if the violation was within 36 months of a previous cell phone infraction. The point will stay on your record for the next three years. This adds insurance implications and increases the risk of license suspension. Read further about What is Reckless Driving? Is it a Criminal Offense? (Simplified)


Dealing with a Distracted Driving Citation:

At first glance, the civil penalties for holding a phone while driving seem light. The first time you’re convicted, it’s a $20 fine. For all future convictions, it’s a $50 fine. But don’t get fooled, California is infamous for adding on “fees” to its citations. These fees will turn that $20 fine into about $150, and that $50 fine will likely be at least $250 total. Now that license points are involved, you’ll likely face increased insurance costs, which are not factored into those totals. Driver Alert: Read further about America's 7 Most Haunted Roads


Are Passengers Allowed to Smoke or Ingest Cannabis in a Hired Vehicle?:

Unfortunately for medical patients and cannabis enthusiasts, House Bill 1820 makes this illegal. House Bill 1820 says passengers cannot smoke or ingest cannabis while on a bus, limousine, taxi, pedicab, house-car, or camper. If you’re a taxi or limo driver, allowing your passengers to smoke or ingest cannabis in any form could technically make you an “accessory” to the crime, and your permit could be revoked. Explore the 8 Ways to Improve Driver Behavior with a Modern Fleet Management System


What to Do if You Get Caught:

Remember, the police officer is not there to be your friend. He or she is there to enforce laws. Never make a self-incriminating statement. These are often in the form of answers to the question of “Do you know why I pulled you over?” You should be respectful, but don’t give the officer evidence of offenses that he or she may not have seen.

Do not panic and pay the fine. Don’t even schedule time off work to go to court. Just go to getdismissed.com, a service that specializes in getting rid of your tickets! California has a huge volume of documents designed to bog you down if you plead not guilty. GetDismissed already has these forms completed and ready. After sending your basic contact information, showing your citation, and paying $99, you will get all the documents you need to mail to the court. Keep your driving record clean, avoid license points, and save money by either visiting the site or calling (800) 580-3769 today!


Contact us for a quick demo of our Traxroot Vehicle Tracking System to understand how our software using GPS systems can protect you and your companies vehicles by providing details like distance traveled, live speed, driver performance, generates fuel-saving reports, nighttime driving, acceleration, fuel pilferage, and many other exciting features. Reduce your Insurance premiums with us in California. We will love to help you out. visit our FAQ page for some frequently asked questions on fleet management.


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