The following are new laws enacted in California that every person living in the Golden State should know about.  Here we categorize them:

SAFETY

  • Distracted-driving: Texting was already forbidden, but the new law prohibits drivers from using smartphones for other purposes while behind the wheel — unless they’re in hands-free mode.
  • Motorcycles: California became one of the first states to define “lane-splitting,” which is the practice of motorcycle riders to squeeze through stacked up traffic. The new law authorizes the California Highway Patrol to develop educational guidelines for weaving between lanes of stopped or moving vehicles.
  • Children’s safety: A new law went into effect this year, requiring parents to put children younger than 2 in a rear-facing car seat unless they are 40 inches tall or weigh 40 pounds. State law already required children under 8 to ride in a car seat or booster seat, but it did not specify which direction babies should face.

  • Doctors and prescription drugs: A new law put doctors who recklessly prescribe psychiatric drugs at risk of losing their medical license. This law requires more transparency and tracking of mental health services for foster kids.
  • Alcoholic Beverages:
    • Powdered alcohol (If you ask what is this? It is dried up booze!!) — is now illegal to possess, sell or make.
    • But beauty salons and barber shops can serve small amounts of wine and beer as long as it’s free and it’s before 10 p.m.
  • Earthquake warnings: California has established establishing the California Earthquake Early Warning Program in the governor’s Office of Emergency Services. This year, the governor directed $10 million to the expansion of the existing prototype: SHAKEALERT