New Laws Affecting California Drivers

Changes Effective As of January 1, 2021

New Laws Affecting California DriversA number of California laws related to the operation of motor vehicles, including motorcycles and motorized scooters, went into effect at the beginning of the year. Here are some of the changes you need to know.

Emergency Vehicle Measures Expanded to Local Roadways

All motorists now must either change lanes or slow down when approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights flashing, regardless of where they are. Prior law applied only to vehicles on freeways. The new law applies to all types of emergency vehicles, including ambulances, EMT vehicles, tow trucks, and Caltrans vehicles.

Under a separate law, authorized emergency vehicles are permitted to use a “hi-lo” warning signal, with a different sound than a siren. The “hi-lo” signal means that non-essential personnel must evacuate the area because of an emergency.

Distracted Driving Convictions Add Points to Driving Record

Any motorist convicted of using a cell phone—except in a hands-free manner—will have one point added to their driving record, provided the conviction is the second one within a three-year period. California motorists can face suspension of driving privileges if they accumulate four points within 12 months, six points within two years, or eight points within three years. Persons under the age of 18 may not use a cell phone or similar device in any manner while driving.

Motorized Scooter Licenses

Motorized scooters no longer require a Class M2 license or permit to operate. Effective January 1, anyone with a valid driver’s license or permit in California can operate a motorized scooter.

Contact the Law Offices of Weber & Nierenberg

At Weber & Nierenberg, we have protected the rights of personal injury victims throughout the state of California for more than 30 years. To set up an appointment to discuss your options after an accident, contact us by e-mail or call 1-866-288-6010 for a free initial consultation.

Locations & Contact Information
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


1 Sansome Street, Suite 3500 San Francisco, CA 94104
P. 415-788-3900

1999 Harrison Street, Suite 1800 Oakland, CA 94612
P. 510-663-6000

Read Our Blogs

Wishing You And Yours A Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

We are sending holiday cheer to you in the hopes that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a healthy New Year. As we look ... [Read More...]