2022 Year in Review: California New Laws and Driver Safety

 2022 Year in Review: California New Laws, Driver Safety

This year California drivers and pedestrians had to abide by some new laws affecting their travel throughout the Golden State. These laws included reduced speed limits in certain situations, legalized jaywalking, added points for distracted driving and increased penalties for participants in sideshows.

Indeed, Assembly Bill 43 went into effect in October 2021 year making it possible to reduce speed limits on some state highways to protect bicyclists, pedestrians, and others not in a car from being hurt or killed in a car crash.

Also, California law makers legalized jaywalking this year. AB 2147 allows pedestrians to jaywalk (or cross the street outside of an intersection) without being ticketed, as long as the crossing is done when it’s safe to do so.

 2022 Year in Review: California New Laws, Driver Safety

Distracted drivers endanger others on the road. These motorists take their eyes off the road and or take their hands off the wheel to engage in activities not related to driving. It could be they are texting a friend, grooming themselves or stuffing their face with a cheeseburger. Offenders who violate the hands-free law a second time in a 36-month period will get a point added to their driving record. The law went into effect on July 1, 2021.

As for illegal sideshows, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill for a new law that allows judges to suspend a participant’s driver’s license for up to six months if convicted of performing dangerous stunts in such as donuts or spinouts on roads. Police may also impound the vehicle and issued fines of up to $2,500 to vehicle owners.

Notably, the bill also provides a legal definition of a “sideshow” as a reckless stunt show performed for an audience involving at least two vehicles driving recklessly and or speeding while blocking the road to traffic.

SAFETY: Automatic Emergency Braking Feature is Standard in Most Cars

Some 15 of the 20 automakers who committed in 2016 to meet a Sept. 1 2022 deadline to equip their vehicles with standard automatic emergency braking features have reached their goal, according to the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The federal agencies sought to get automakers representing more than 99 percent of the U.S. auto market to install automatic emergency braking as a standard feature in virtually all new cars.

The automakers who stepped up to commit are Audi, BMW, FCA US LLC, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Subaru, Tesla Motors Inc., Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo Car USA.

SAFETY: Faulty Airbags Killed 4 in 2022

Four new deaths from exploding Takata airbags were reported in 2022. U.S. safety regulators reported these recent deaths from exploding Takata airbag inflators in the United States bring the total since 2009 to 23 here and 33 deaths worldwide.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler), has warned owners of roughly 274,000 older Dodge and Chrysler vehicles about the defective airbags. If they are not replaced, they are asked to stop driving their vehicles. Three of this year’s four deaths in the U.S. were in Dodge or Chrysler vehicles.

Most of the deaths have occurred in warm-weather states including the three most recent. Safety regulators determined that the ammonium nitrate used by Takata to inflate its air bags becomes volatile over the years as it is exposed to moisture in the air and repeated high temperatures. The chemical is contained in a metal canister that may rupture and explode into the vehicle’s cabin.


Johnson Attorneys Group has been helping deserving clients throughout the state of California for nearly two decades. Our practice is dedicated to helping injured people recover their losses and make them whole again. If you have legal questions, please contact us as soon as possible.  Our law firm is a proud, longtime supporter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

James Johnson

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