Interesting California Traffic Stories for January, 2019
Check out some of the interesting news stories and developments affecting California drivers from the past month.
Drive, walk, ride a bike or a scooter? New California traffic laws might affect your ride (The Sacramento Bee)
California drivers and bicyclists, get ready. There are a host of new rules of the road going into effect in California on Jan. 1.
Here’s a sampling of laws set to go into effect in the new year.
Gender identification: SB 169, sponsored by Sen. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego. This law allows applicants for a California driver license or state ID “to self-certify their chosen gender category of male, female or nonbinary in the application.” A nonbinary gender designation will appear as an “X” in the gender category on the ID. [Read more…]
Billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s plan to help drivers escape traffic by sending cars hurtling through dozens of skinny tunnels has caught the imagination of some Californians who are sick of gridlock but unwilling to give up their vehicles.
But even if that could happen, does that mean it should? That's the question lingering after Musk’s much-hyped presentation this week, where he unveiled his first tunnel, beneath the streets of Hawthorne.
Before a crowd of investors, celebrities and Tesla owners on Tuesday night, Musk pitched his tunnel vision: building layers upon layers of one-way routes, each 12 feet in diameter, that would be reserved for autonomous electric vehicles to carry riders to their destinations.
Diverting traffic underground could eventually free up space for more peaceful, pedestrian-oriented city streets, he said, with “less concrete, more trees.” [Read more…]
...License plates: AB 516, sponsored by Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-South San Francisco. This law requires California new- and used-auto dealers to attach temporary license places on a vehicle at the point of sale if it does not already have DMV-issued plates. No vehicle can be driven off the dealership lot without a plate affixed to it.
ZEVs get the fast lane: AB 544, sponsored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica. This law creates a new program to grant low- and zero-emission vehicles access to carpool lanes regardless of how many people are in the vehicle. More information about this program is available on the California DMV’s Clean Air Vehicle Decals website. This law sunsets on Jan. 1, 2023, unless it is renewed. [Read more…]
Bike-related crashes hit a record low in SLO. Here are the city’s latest traffic stats (The Tribune)
The latest data from San Luis Obispo’s annual traffic safety reporting shows that collisions in the city increased slightly in 2017.
But overall crashes are down significantly compared to the numbers from the early 2000s, when the city first started its comprehensive reporting.
The latest report, according to a summary in a city staff report, showed that a total of 501 vehicle-related collisions took place in San Luis Obispo in 2017 — compared with 482 crashes in 2016, the lowest number since the city started putting out an annual traffic safety report in 2001.
Traffic collision data for 2018 isn’t available yet because of the time it takes to report, receive and analyze accidents, which may be filed by private parties. It can take months before collision reports are finalized. [Read more…]
CHP Highlights 2019 California Traffic Safety Laws: Bicycle Hit-and-Run, Helmet Use, Exhaust Violations and More (KTLA 5)
The new laws touch on many different facets of traffic-related safety, from helmet use on bicycles and motorized scooters, to modified exhaust systems and hit-and-run on bicycle paths, according to a CHP news release.
Here are five the agency highlighted:
Bike Path Hit-and-Run: Assembly Bill 1755 extends the provisions of felony hit-and-run laws to cyclists on bicycle paths. The California Vehicle Code previously mandated that drivers involved in a crash resulting in someone dying or being injured must stay at the scene. Now the law clarifies that the vehicle code also applies to those riding bicycles on Class I bikeways.
Bicycle Helmets: Under Assembly Bill 3077, anyone under the age of 18 caught riding a bicycle, scooter, skateboard or skates without a helmet will get a “fix-it” ticket. The non-punitive citation is correctible by going through a bicycle safety course and getting a helmet that meets safety standards within 120 days of the ticket being issued. A violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $25. [Read more…]
Traffic can be a buzz kill on the source you rely on every day for entertainment while stuck in traffic. When I was caught up in traffic that was at a standstill I quickly remembered the time I was stuck in traffic in California. But that time I was in California traffic it wasn't so bad because of all the graffiti murals that I got to observe. Which got me thinking about how traffic wouldn't be so bad if we had that to look at. El Paso traffic that's usually at a standstill is between I-10 West at Executive Center and Shuster. That area where traffic is still the drivers could have a potential view. Imagine transforming the mountain near the freeway by Utep into a mountain of art. I bet drivers wouldn't be so upset about sitting still in traffic if they had something to admire. In California they have all kinds of art displayed all over the freeways which make traffic tolerable. So if you think it would be neat to admire art while in standstill traffic take the poll below! [Read more…]
Drivers can now enter, exit 91 Freeway carpool lanes wherever they want in part of Riverside (The Press-Enterprise
Ride sharers soon will be able to jump in and out of the carpool lanes at any point on the 91 Freeway from downtown Riverside to east Corona.
Before too long, even those who travel alone may get the green light to drive in carpool lanes on Riverside County freeways — in between rush-hours. But not so fast.
First, Caltrans has to do a study to see if it would make sense to open the special lanes to all traffic at less-busy hours, as is done on the 60 Freeway in Moreno Valley and widely across Northern California.
Caltrans spokeswoman Jocelyn Whitfield said that study should be finished in January 2020.
“We’ll take a look at this and, if we can open it up, we will,” Whitfield said. [Read more…]
Carpool decals set to expire for hundreds of thousands of California drivers with clean-air vehicles (The Press Democrat)
Clarence Dold has been a proud owner of a used Nissan Leaf electric car since 2016. Back when he was commuting to San Mateo from his home in Santa Rosa, being able to slide into the carpool lane and cruise past cars sitting idly in traffic was an added bonus to the smaller climate footprint of his electric vehicle. But as of Jan. 1, Dold and nearly 215,000 zero- and low-emission car owners in the state of California are set to lose their clean-air carpool status. That group is composed of electric and hybrid vehicles.
The state Legislature last year passed a measure that will no longer recognize the white and green carpool decals on clean-air vehicles purchased before 2017. Only vehicles purchased since then will qualify for the new passes, which are red. Those qualifying owners will have to apply to the state for the new passes.
Dold, who learned of the new law only weeks ago, said he felt the change unfairly treats drivers who have long invested in low-emission vehicles.
“What upsets me is that I thought I was going to get to use the decal for three years, and had I waited even just a few months, I would have qualified for the extension,” Dold said. [Read more…]