California

GHSA maintains data on state laws surrounding a number of highway safety issues. Below is information regarding laws in the state of California. For more information, consult the State Highway Safety Office.

  • Alcohol Impaired Driving

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 4 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

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

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Autonomous Vehicles

    Authorizes full deployment without a human operator.

  • 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 seat

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

    Adult Safety Belt Permissible

    8-15 yrs or 57" and taller

  • 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 and recreational 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?

    16 and over

    In What Seat?

    All

  • Speed and Red Light Cameras

    Speed Cameras

    No state law or programs


    Red Light Cameras

    State Law

    Permitted by state law

    Where Permitted

    Statewide

  • 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
  • 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)