CHP Addresses New Laws (Including Cannabis Consumption, Seat Belts on Buses)

This is a press release from the California Highway Patrol:

chpstarSACRAMENTO, Calif. – New laws approved by the Legislature in 2017 address many aspects of highway safety, including cannabis consumption, seat belts on buses, and other issues. To support its mission of providing the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is highlighting several of these new laws.

Alcohol and marijuana in vehicles (SB 65, Hill): Smoking or ingesting cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle is prohibited. This is consistent with current law prohibiting the consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle.

Administration of cannabis laws in California (SB 94, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): This bill establishes a single system of administration for cannabis laws in California. Among its many provisions is an appropriation of $3 million for the CHP to train state and local law enforcement officers in drug recognition and impairment. SB 94 also prohibits the possession of an open container of cannabis or cannabis product when operating a motor vehicle. An Impaired Driving Task Force, led by the CHP Commissioner, was created to develop recommendations regarding the best practices, protocols, legislation, and policies to address driving under the influence (DUI) of cannabis and controlled substances. Law enforcement anticipates an increase in DUI resulting from the legalization of recreational cannabis. SB 94 went into effect on June 27, 2017.

Pedestrian crossing signals (AB 390, Santiago): This bill permits a pedestrian to begin crossing an intersection while facing a traffic signal displaying a flashing “DON’T WALK” or “Upraised Hand” symbol if the traffic signal includes a countdown timer and the pedestrian can complete the crossing before the traffic signal phases to a steady “DON’T WALK” or “Upraised Hand.” The intent of this law is to provide clear standards for pedestrian behavior at intersections controlled by traffic control signals and countdown timers.

Seat belts on buses (SB 20, Hill): Effective July 1, 2018, the driver and passengers of a tour bus are required to be properly restrained by seat belts if the bus is so equipped. Passengers will be allowed to move about the cabin of the bus to use onboard facilities. The operator of the tour bus will be required to ensure that the seat belts are in good working order and inform passengers of the legal requirement to wear a seat belt. School buses and transit buses are excluded from this bill.



  • AB390 is supposed to make it clear? oh, dear… not quite sure what the description tells us… If it is blinking are we supposed to ‘take a chance and run for it’?

    • Walk, Stop, Walk, Stop, Walk, Stop… Lol… 😉

    • I imagine that this is the result of some legislator being irritated by having to obey a sign when he know’s, darn it, just knows, he could safely get across before the light changes. Kinda might conflict with the ‘right turn on red’ legislator who knows, just knows, that the pedestrian will obey the sign while he takes the opportunity to cross.

      This is of course a lawyer’s money maker, getting decisions about reasonable.

  • “The intent of this law is to provide clear standards for pedestrian behavior at intersections controlled by traffic control signals and countdown timers.” which will be entirely ignored, with people wandering into the road without looking any time they feel like it, just like the existing, equally clear laws?

    • Last night I almost hit two different groups (2-3 people) of twenty somethings as they try running across multiple lanes of traffic! Wearing dark clothing, not using crosswalk, disregard for anyone else. What is with this on going behavior?! Granted you can’t get a car to stop even if you are in the crosswalk or have the right away where they are to allow crossing but this is insane! F— the law! Just common sense and common courtesy but then this is why we have such laws because people are so stupid.

      • People are to lazy to use the sidewalk and walk to the crosswalk and back up when running across the street may save 5-10 minutes. Jay walking only applies to pedestrians in old town usually people that have jobs. Had a friend get a ticket for crossing in the crosswalk while the light was red, but no traffic. She paid the fine around $180, took the incident to court and lost

      • Actually its against the law to stop for a pedestrian crossing the freeway unless they are in a crosswalk!

        • Actually, i was told, its against the law to stop for a pedo on the freeway, UNLESS the person is in a hurry or knows what his/ her special purpose is.

  • Hrmm so the busses the goverment would have to pay to equip with seatbelts are exempt, yet the guy trying to make a buck has the extra expenense and hassle of ensuring passengers buckle up. I just get so excited when the goverment wants to force others to act differantly then they do.
    It should start with the goverment busses and have that system be a testing bed before forcing citizens into things such as this.

  • “If the bus is so equipped…” – this only says that if a bus has seatbelts, they must be used, not that they’re mandatory to be retrofitted at anyone’s expense. If you want to get angry at the government, at least be accurate. Also, your anger might be better expressed against the continuing lack of safety equipment required on school buses, especially those used on rural mountain roads.

    • They should be mandatory on school buses, everyone else at their own risk.

      • It’s been proven that seat belts on a school bus is not the best answer. Most drivers are against it, and the passing of mandating new buses was a political move by politicians. If an accident happens and gas is leaking, it would take a driver 10 minutes to help unbuckle 70+ kindergarten kids and get them off; other than move them out of the bus immediately. Also, if an emergency stop happens, the seats in front of each seat is padded. This allows a student to slide forward into a pad other than sustain chest or stomach injuries from the belt. In addition, there is no way to know who is wearing it or not. Also, can you see vehicles being stopped at a ‘red light stop’ while a driver gets out of their seat and goes to the back of the bus to help a kid get unbuckled??? People don’t wait as it is now with fast red light stops, which causes more danger for the student crossing the street. Since recorded, school buses are the safest form of transportation in the US.


          The newest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: supports lap/shoulder restraint belt systems on school buses. The National Transportation Safety Boards investigations into school bus accidents show that these seatbelt systems do indeed provide additional safety to all children riding on school buses, most specifically to those crashes with side impacts and lateral displacement of passengers.

    • Exactly.

  • If extensive and expensive training is required to notice an impairment, it’s not really an impairment.

  • nre: seat belts

    It is not so simple and it has been rountinely considered. Seeing that getting a wide variety of kids safely seat belted in a car is a challenge for many parents who might have to keep just two squirming kids in them, imagine a bus of twenty or more kids either having seat belts they can not readily open themselves in an emergency versus having readily opening belts buckles that allows them to hit each other or simply release because the don’t like them.

    • after reading that blurb, let them kids walk, or ride with mom or dad.

    • Kids need to know “Why?” and it’s so easy to teach the answer…if one takes the time and accepts the responsibility to do it. Kids aren’t stupid, and don’t want to die in a bloody mess…or in any other way. Teach.

      • Kids aren’t stupid???? What magic kingdom do you live in?? High school ‘kids’ light matches on buses, start paper fires, they light up pot, slash seats, they fight, they throw things across the bus and much more. That’s why they install cameras on buses when necessary. Drivers are required to do a ‘safety speech’ every time before leaving with kids on board. They are ‘taught’ daily. The driver has to watch the road, so don’t blame him/her, blame the irresponsible parent.

        • Sorry I shook your cage. The magic kingdom I live in is one that home-schooled our kids. I sometimes forget that H/S kids grow up in an entirely different educational manner, and that they and their peers are savvy to the dangerous situations they may find themselves in. I’ll go to my room now. Happy Holidaze!

        • If you hate ”stupid kids”, then stay off the bus… Find a new job ,one where uncontrollable people will hate / disrespect you just the same , because you… are sooooo smart……Quit looking in the EFFIN rear view mirror and fighting/ bullying our kids….. Keep your eyes on the road! ..Let the cameras do their ”MAGIC KINGDOM” work. Isn’t that what your NAZI cameras are for?… You have obviously lost all respect from Stupid kids, and smart one too.

  • How is it possible that school buses are exempted from seat belts? Consistently is so important in raising/teaching our children. This is an anomaly and confusing for the kids and the parents. Dumb.

    • Go to the website posted by ‘Guest’ above. It describes exactly why seatbelts are not good, nor needed, on school buses. Many school bus drivers are the only adult on a bus with 70+ kids.

  • “driving under the influence (DUI) of cannabis and controlled substances” when is it ok to use your medical cannabis ?? It stays in your system for quite awhile so you never can drive again?? what are their criteria now? Just at the judgement of an officer? NO I want more —

    • It’s a problem, isn’t it?

    • Exexperienced healthcare worker.

      Alcohol has the same problem but is easily determined. The amount of impairment is relative to a breathalyzer or blood test.

      Tests will need to be developed for pot and it’s relative impairment.

      Drugs (legal FDA approved meds) are banned if they interfere with judgement, wakefulness, etc. Just because an MD prescribed them does not make it legal to drive while using them. You still get a DUI if impaired. Same with all the forms of pot. If you are under the influence, don’t drive.

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