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.

California
Bike helmets required?

Bicycle helmets required for all riders under 18.

California
Motorcycle Helmet Required?

Universal helmet law enacted 1992.

California
Length of Regular Renewal Cycle

5 years

California
Provisions for Mature Drivers

70 and over: License renewal in person at a DMV field office, unless otherwise instructed by the DMV. Knowledge and vision tests are also required. Most drivers 70 and older are eligible for open book no-fail eLearning course.

California
DUID Zero Tolerance or Per se Laws for Some Drugs

None

California
Marijuana Possession and Use

Decriminalized and legal for medical and recreational use

California
Marijuana Impaired Driving

None

California
Rural Interstates: Cars (MPH)

70

California
Rural Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

55

California
Urban Interstates: Cars (MPH)

65

California
Urban Interstates: Trucks (MPH)

55

California
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars (MPH)

70

California
Other Limited Access Roads: Trucks (MPH)

55

California
Administrative license suspension on first offense

4 months

California
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

California
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all repeat and injury-involved offenses, first-time injury or vehicular manslaughter offenses.

California
Open container laws

Yes

California
Repeat Offender Laws

No

California
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

California
Child Restraint Required

Under 2 yrs or under 40 pounds or 40” in rear-facing car seat, following manufacturer instructions and in a back seat

Under 8 yrs or under 57" tall in child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat, following manufacturer instructions 

California
Adult Safety Belt Permissible

Under 16 yrs properly restrained, including a seat belt

California
Full Privilege Minimum Age

17 years

California
Learner Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

15 / 6

California
Learner Stage: Minimum Duration (Months)

6

California
Learner Stage: Supervised Driving Hours (Night Hours in Parenthesis)

50 (10)

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Intermediate Stage: Minimum Age (Years/Months)

16

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Intermediate Stage: Nighttime Driving Restriction

11 p.m. - 5 a.m. (secondary enforcement)

California
Intermediate Stage: Passenger Restrictions (Except Family, Unless Noted)

First 12 months: No passengers under 20 (secondary enforcement) unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is the licensee’s parent or guardian, a licensed driver who is 25 years or older, or a licensed or certified driving instructor.

California
Type of Law

Primary

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Who is Covered?

16 and over

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In What Seat?

All

California
All Cell Phone Ban? School Bus Drivers

Yes. Primary law.

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All Cell Phone Ban? Novice Drivers

Drivers under 18. Secondary law.

California
Text Messaging Ban?

All drivers. Primary law.

California
Hand-Held Ban?

Yes. Primary law.

California
Speed Cameras: State Law

Permitted by state law

California
Speed Cameras: Where Permitted

In six specified jurisdictions in a pilot program until 2032

California
Red Light Cameras: State Law

Permitted by state law

California
Red Light Cameras: Where Permitted

Statewide

Zoox is Expanding Autonomous Robotaxi Rides to New US Cities

Autonomous technology developer Zoox is continuing its expansion of driverless robotaxi rides across two new cities in the US. This week, the company announced plans to start testing in Miami, Florida, and Austin, Texas, as it looks to begin commercial ride-hailing operations in the cities it’s already established in.

electrek

Story by Scooter Doll
June 7, 2024

The Age of the Drone Police Is Here

The department says that its drones provide officers with critical intelligence about incidents they are responding to ahead of initiating in-person contact—which the CVPD says has reduced unnecessary police contacts, decreased response times, and saved lives. But a WIRED investigation paints a complicated picture of the trade-offs between public safety and privacy.

Wired

Stroy by Dhruv Mehrotra and Jesse Max
June 5, 2024

Head of Safety

Overview

Nuro is seeking an experienced safety leader and thought partner to help lead our efforts to enhance safety in the design, testing, and operation of our core products. Nuro’s mission is to better everyday life through robotics, and today we are focused on autonomous vehicle technologies that provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways while reimagining the role that automobiles can and should play in our society.

Maison Law

Maison Law provides skilled, experienced and personalized legal guidance to the voiceless and the injured throughout California. Clients are the firm’s priority, and they work with the best experts in the field to help win their cases.

California Allows Cities to Catch Speeding Drivers With Automated Cameras

Slow down, California drivers. Speed cameras can be installed next year in six cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation on Friday approving a trial run of enforcement systems that can automatically flag errant drivers for citations.

California Allows Cities to Catch Speeding Drivers With Automated Cameras

Story by Heather Knight
October 13, 2023

California, Land of the Car, Could Soon Have Speed Cameras

California likes to think of itself as a cutting-edge lab for policymaking, a place where laws get passed first and then copied around the country. But for years, it has banned a basic measure used in many cities to slow drivers: the humble speed camera. In the state that practically invented car culture and the thrill of hitting the open road, speed cameras have faced steep resistance.

GHSA Adopts New Roadway Safety Priorities, Including Support of Lower State BAC Limits, Equity, Safe System Approach

Amid a recent surge in traffic deaths and dangerous driving behaviors, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has updated the Policies and Priorities that guide the organization’s work to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on U.S. roads.

GHSA Adopts New Roadway Safety Priorities, Including Support of Lower State BAC Limits, Equity, Safe System Approach

Amid a recent surge in traffic deaths and dangerous driving behaviors, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) has updated the Policies and Priorities that guide the organization’s work to prevent traffic crashes, injuries and deaths on U.S. roads.

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