New laws affect deadly force policies, traffic regulations


New laws passed last year are expected to impact things from police use of force to bicycle turning movements at intersections in the new year.

The California Highway Patrol highlighted several of these new laws in an announcement at the end of December. 

Assembly Bill 392 amends the standard for police use of deadly force to “objectively reasonable force.” Before the law’s enactment, deadly force was considered justified when an officer “reasonably” believed it to be necessary.

Senate Bill 230 ensures that law enforcement agencies will be required to rewrite use of force policies to be in compliance with AB 392 and give officers and deputies mandatory training.

Assembly Bill 1266 states that bicycles will now be able to travel straight through a right or left-hand turn-only lane while at an intersection when a traffic control device indicates the maneuver would be otherwise legal. The state Department of Transportation is now required to develop new standards to implement this law.

Assembly Bill 1810 amends California Vehicle Code to allow motor carriers of property to continue operating for up to 30 days after their permit expiration date, under certain circumstances. It also amends another section of California Vehicle Code to prohibit cannabis consumption by passengers in buses, taxis, pedicabs, limousines, housecars or campers – currently, passengers in those vehicles are only restricted from consuming alcoholic beverages. 

Senate Bill 395 states that the state Department of Fish and Wildlife will be directed to conduct a pilot program for wildlife collision data-collection in order to support wildlife conservation. The law also allows the Fish and Game Commission to establish a program that would authorize permits for removal and consumption of animals including deer, elk, pronghorn antelope and wild pigs killed in a vehicle collision – meaning roadkill. 

Assembly Bill 47 will not go into effect until July 1, 2021, but when it does, drivers will have a point added to their record for each additional conviction of illegally using a phone behind the wheel within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense. 

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