California

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of California. Please note that GHSA does not compile any additional data on state laws other than what is presented in these pages. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .15 4 months After 30 days Impoundment, vehicle confiscation

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary. Mandatory for all convictions in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento counties (pilot project)

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
    Yes No Yes

     

  • Autonomous Vehicles

    AV testing and operations authorized under specified conditions.

  • Bicyclists and Pedestrians

    Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 18.

  • Child Passenger Safety

    Child Restraint Required

    Under 2 yrs and under 40 lbs and under 40" tall in rear-facing infant seat

    Under 8 yrs and under 57" tall in rear seat if available

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8-15 yrs or 57" and taller

    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $100

  • Distracted Driving

    Hand-Held Ban?

    Yes. Primary law.

    All Cell Phone Ban?

    School Bus Drivers

    Yes. Primary law.

    Novice Drivers

    Drivers under 18. Secondary law.

    Text Messaging Ban?

    All drivers. Primary law.

  • Drug Impaired Driving

    DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

    • None

    Marijuana-Specific Laws

    • Possession and Use: Decriminalized and legal for medical use
    • Impaired Driving: None
  • Mature Drivers

    Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

    5 years

    Provisions for Mature Drivers

    70 and over: no mail renewal

     

  • Motorcyclists

    Universal helmet law enacted 1992.

  • Seat Belts

    Type of Law

    Primary

    Who Is Covered?

    Riders 16 and over

    In What Seat?

    All

    Maximum Fine for 1st Offense

    $162 ($20 fine + $142 in penalties and assessments)

  • Sobriety Checkpoints

    2,500 or more checkpoints are conducted annually. Their legality is upheld under state and federal Constitution.

  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    No state law or programs


    Red Light Cameras

    Violation/State Law

    Permitted

    Permitted Locations/Criteria

    Statewide

    Citation Issued To/Liability

    Registered owner/Driver if identifiable

    Image Taken

    Tag and driver

    Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

    $490; 1 point ($100 fine + $390 in penalties and assessments; 1 point)


    Rail Crossing Cameras

    Violation/State Law

    Permitted

    Permitted Locations/Criteria

    Statewide

    Citation Issued To/Liability

    Registered owner/Driver if identifiable

    Penalties (Traditional Penalties)

    $490; 1 point ($100 fine + $390 in penalties and assessments; 1 point)

  • Speeding and Aggressive Driving

    Rural Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 55

    Urban Interstates

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    65 55

    Other Limited Access Roads

    Cars (MPH) Trucks (MPH)
    70 55

    Aggressive Driver Actions Defined by Statute

    None defined. California has amended reckless driving law to include causing bodily injuries to people other than driver. This specifically cites drivers engaged in speed contests.

  • Teen and Novice Drivers

    Full Privilege Minimum Age

    17 years

    Learner Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Minimum Duration (Months)

    Required Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours)

    15 / 6 6 50 (10)

    Intermediate Stage

    Minimum Age (Years/Months)

    Nighttime Driving Restriction

    Passenger Restriction (except family, unless noted)

    16 11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement) First 12 months: no passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement)

     

  • Work Zones

    Violations Affected

    Various

    Enhanced Penalties

    Double original fine

    Workers Must Be Present?

    Yes

    Signs Must Be Present?

    Yes