Do you know the DMV’s New Motorists Laws of 2017?


Please review the following new laws California has passed and, have been or will be, in effect soon this year of 2017. These laws are for the safety and concerns of the residents of California.

Sacramento – With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2017. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws taking effect.

Use of Electronic Wireless Devices (AB 1785, Quirk): Driving a motor vehicle while holding and operating a handheld wireless telephone or a wireless electronic communications device will be prohibited, unless the device is mounted on a vehicle’s windshield or is mounted/affixed to a vehicle’s dashboard or center console in a manner that does not hinder the driver’s view of the road. The driver’s hand may only be used to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the device with the motion of a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it. The law does not apply to manufacturer-installed systems that are embedded in a vehicle.

Child Safety Seats (AB 53, Garcia): This law requires a parent, legal guardian, or the driver of a motor vehicle to properly secure a child who is younger than 2 years of age in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches in height (3 feet, 3 inches).

Motorcycle Lane Splitting (AB 51, Quirk): This law defines “lane splitting” as driving a two-wheeled motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane. The law authorizes the California Highway Patrol (CHP) to develop educational guidelines relating to lane splitting in a manner that would ensure the safety of motorcyclists, drivers, and passengers. In developing these guidelines, the law requires the CHP to consult with specified agencies and organizations that have an interest in road safety and motorcyclist behavior.

Vehicle Registration Fee (SB 838, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): This law increases the vehicle registration fee on every vehicle or trailer coach from $43 to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.

Environmental License Plate (SB 839, Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review): This law increases the fee for the issuance of Environmental License Plates from $48 to $53, starting July 1, 2017. This law also increases the fee for the renewal, retention, transfer, or duplication of Environmental License Plates (personalized) from $38 to $43, starting January 1, 2017.

Accident Reporting (SB 491, Committee on Transportation and Housing): This law increases the minimum financial threshold for property damage that is required to be reported to the DMV from $750 to $1,000 when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle collision.

Vehicle Safety Recalls (AB 287, Gordon): This law enacts the Consumer Automotive Recall Safety (CARS) Act, and requires the DMV to include a general advisory regarding vehicle recalls and needed repairs on each vehicle registration renewal notice. This law prohibits a dealer or a rental car company from renting or loaning a vehicle with a manufacturer’s recall no later than 48 hours after receiving the notice—until the vehicle has been repaired. This law gives a limited exception for a licensed dealer or a rental car company with a fleet of 34 or fewer loaner or rental vehicles. The law authorizes the DMV to suspend or revoke a vehicle dealer’s license if they violate the CARS Act.

Year of Manufacture License Plates (SB 1429, Nielsen): This law expands the Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate program to include vehicles and license plates manufactured through 1980. This law benefits owners of vintage motor vehicles who obtain license plates from the year corresponding to the vehicle’s model-year, and wish to use those vintage plates in lieu of regular license plates. Such plates are commonly found from different sources, including relatives, garage sales, estate sales, etc. The program will include the blue and yellow license plates issued for use on California motor vehicles from 1970 until 1980.

Background Checks of Drivers of Transportation Network Companies (AB 1289, Cooper): A transportation network company (TNC) will be required to perform a comprehensive background check of all their drivers. This law also specifies penalties for a TNC that violates or fails to comply with this requirement. A TNC will be prohibited from contracting with, employing, or retaining a driver if they are registered on the U.S. Department of Justice National Sex Offender public website, has been convicted of specified felonies, or within the previous seven years, has been convicted of a misdemeanor assault or battery, domestic violence, or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Any TNC in violation of the specified requirements is subject to a penalty of not less than $1,000 or more than $5,000 for each offense.

Installing Counterfeit or Nonfunctional Air Bags (AB 2387, Mullin): This law prohibits knowingly and intentionally manufacturing, importing, installing, reinstalling, distributing, or selling any device intended to replace an air bag system in any motor vehicle if the device is a counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag system, or does not meet federal safety requirements. The law also prohibits selling, installing, or reinstalling any device that would cause a vehicle’s diagnostic system to fail to warn when the vehicle is equipped with a counterfeit, nonfunctional, or a case in which no air bag was installed. This violation is a misdemeanor punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or up to a one year in county jail.

If you or a loved one are ever in a motorcycle accident contact The Reinecke Law Firm at (800)275-8326 for a free case evaluation. The Reinecke Law Firm has helped thousands of motorcyclists recover from their accidents for the past 30 years and we know exactly how to help you. Do not hesitate to call today.

Motorcycling in Southern California


If you have never ridden in Southern California chances are you need to make a few adjustments about your riding habits, especially if you have not been riding in the big cities. Safety is our biggest priority when it comes to motorcycling on the streets and we are here to help you lower your chances of being involved in a motorcycle accident.

Continue reading “Motorcycling in Southern California”

AB-51 Lane Splitting Bill, We are in Support

June 15, 2016

The Lane-splitting Bill AB-51 is to protect riders. The bill being passed will be to help further educate motorcyclists and motorists of the correct ways to safely lane-split. The law will not add rules or guidelines to lane splitting like it has tried before but it will be to create educational guidelines set by the California Highway Patrol.

Below is the video footage of the Bill being supported by a numerous amount of people clarifying their reasoning to have the bill. Continue reading “AB-51 Lane Splitting Bill, We are in Support”

Lane-Sharing is Legal: Pros and Cons

Lane sharing or splitting is legal in the state of California and should be legal in every state. As much as you think that we are saying this just for the good business for motorcycle lawyers, there is great safety in lane splitting when done correctly and without other motorists attempting to get in the way. For the majority of the motorcyclists lane-splitting, it can be done safely and without any problems. Unfortunately only a few motorcyclists have to make it seem like they own the roads and give the bad rep to the rest of the motorcycle community. Most motorcyclists just want to enjoy their time and freedom of being on their iron horse. The problem is that it only takes a few motorcyclists and bad decisions to make people hate all people on motorcycles.

California is the only state that has no laws that prohibit lane-sharing and several motorcyclists in other states have been trying to be the same. There used to be a 10 mph limit to land splitting that has since been removed allowing riders to ride at any speed while lane splitting. This can be good and bad.

Pros of Lane-splitting:

  • Quickly and Efficiently avoid waiting in traffic
  • Cools down air-cooled motorcycles from overheating
  • Prevents rear-end collisions from happening
  • Cools the rider down from riding with heavy clothing
  • Saves fuel and Time

Cons of Lane-Splitting:

  • Dangerous at high speeds
  • Broken Mirrors and Scratches on cars
  • Lane Changing Vehicles
  • Opened Doors
  • Angered or Startled Motorists
  • Riding in blind spots
  • Motorcyclist to be liable majority in an accident

Whether you are a motorist or a motorcyclist you have to watch out for each other and make good decisions, not illegal moves such as crossing in and out of the carpool lane when the lane is closed. Motorcyclists are practically exposed with no cage or coverage around them to protect them from harm like a vehicle. A motorcyclist hitting another car or vice versa can have significant damage to motorcyclist and cause them to be ejected in the air. A motorist that disobeys the law will be found at fault nearly every time.Motorcycle-02

Motorists that are angry or jealous of motorcycles are considered highly dangerous to as they can swerve to hit a motorcyclist and cause an accident. It is illegal to get in the way of a motorcyclist even if you were startled or angered as they ride by you.

Lane splitting can still be cited even though there are no given limitations specified in the law about what is legal or not. A police officer may cite you if you are lane splitting or straddling the line in an unsafe manner. It is possible for you to receive a citation because of a biased police officer.

In a poll given to motorists, there were many who claimed that they did not know that it was legal to lane-split or lane-share and thought it was a unacceptable action. That is quite alarming considering how many motorists that are on the highways today.

Some good general guidelines for safe lane-splitting are found on The California Motorcyclist Safety Program pdf here. Although they are not laws but some guidelines you’d be a lot safer by abiding by them than without them.

If you or a loved one have been in a recent motorcycle accident call The Reinecke Law Firm for a free case evaluation at (800)275-8326. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and damages.

Yellow Alert Law / Hit-and-Run Alerts- The Reinecke Law firm

In 2015, the governor of California signed the Yellow Alert Bill which is to help find the evaders of hit-and-run accidents and crashes. The bill was originally written by Mike Gatto, an assemblyman of Glendale.


“It’s a very common sense bill that statistics show would greatly reduce the amount of people who get away with this very terrible crime,” Gatto said.

Brown vetoed a similar bill that passed the Assembly last year. Gatto said that he doesn’t know why Brown signed the bill this time around, “but we’re ecstatic about it.”

“This bill will make a very, very meaningful difference, I think, in the number of people who are brought to justice,” Gatto said. “And if more people are brought to justice, I think more people will do the decent thing, and that’s stop. And realize that if you flee the scene of an accident, it’s a crime; if you stop and render aid, then it’s just an accident.”

When Brown vetoed last year’s bill, he said that he was concerned about diluting the power of Amber Alerts with other messages. Gatto said that, given that highway signs are currently used to notify drivers of the state’s drought right and to urge them save water, there should  also be room for their use to notify them of hit and runs.

“Hopefully, the governor came to the same conclusion I did, which is that our network is not that burdened right now,” Gatto said.

Gatto said that the alerts would only be deployed in the area of a suspected hit-and-run, and that they wouldn’t trigger an alert to people’s cell phones.

Nearly over 40,000 car accidents in Los Angeles alone nearly half of them are classified as hit-and-run cases. In 2015 27 people were killed by hit-and-run accidents and 144 others suffered serious injuries. Of those case only a fifth of those cases were solved.

The Los Angeles bulletin system also alerts taxi-cab drivers and tells auto-body specialists to watch for vehicles coming into their shops dented or bloodied.

In addition, the city will offer standing rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hit-and-run drivers: $50,000 for a fatal crash, $25,000 for a collision resulting in serious injury, $5,000 for an accident causing a lesser injury and $1,000 if there was property damage only.

Leaving the scene of a fatal crash or an accident that caused serious injury can lead to felony charges.

If you or a loved one was injured or killed during a hit-and-run while riding a motorcycle call The Reinecke Law Firm today for a free case evaluation at (800)275-8326. We want to help you recover as fast as possible.


Main Causes of Motorcycle Accidents – The Reinecke Law Firm

It’s always said that “It’s not the matter of ‘if’ you go down but ‘when’ you go down while riding a motorcycle.” Below we will talk about some of the most common ways motorcyclists end up in motorcycle accidents and some tips on how to avoid them yourself.

      • Head-On collision-

        While it is possible to survive a head on collision on a motorcycle you most likely won’t. Most causes of a head on collision on a motorcycle is from passing others, especially on a two-lane highway. Many motorcyclists will get impatient and decide to shoot gaps and get to their destinations as soon as possible only to find out they didn’t obey the laws of the road and end up in a fatal accident. Best possible way to avoid head on collisions is to obey the law an pass where appropriate, maintain a safe speed, visually see what’s in front of you and keep in control of your motorcycle.

      • Drinking-

        beerDrinking Alcohol plays a huge factor in motorcycle accidents. Majority of motorcycle accidents that have occurred are caused by drunk riders and drivers. Never drink and ride! Drinking makes you impaired and unable to control a motor vehicle, being a motorcycle or a car. Don’t ride in the late hours of the night when people are more inclined to drink and drive. This is just common sense.

      • Left-Hand Turns

        left-turn-accidentsLeft-hand turns do not mean that the motorcyclist is making a left-hand turn but a vehicle at an intersection is turning left, going through lanes of traffic. This is a very common cause of motorcycle crashes and accidents. Although it is the responsibility of the driver making the left hand turn to make the turn safely it is possible to avoid being hit. Always look many seconds ahead and check for signs of a car making a left-hand turn. Check to see if the driver sees you, slow down until you know the driver sees you. Try riding closer to traffic where the driver can see the traffic coming. Ride with your headlights on always, even with high beams on to increase visibility.

      • Lane-Splitting/Sharing

        laneSplittingDrivers are not all programmed to see motorcyclists whizzing by them. A lot of drivers do not like motorcyclists flying by them especially at high rates of speed. A motorcyclist typically changes lanes a lot more than cars and trucks and have a higher percentage of not being seen. Some of the best ways to prevent accidents while lane-splitting is to split only at slower speeds, watch for blinkers from others, always be ready to stop, avoid riding on the painted lines, especially when wet, be aware of motorcyclists coming from behind and in front.

      • Gravel or objects in the Road

        debrisLoose material is a major factor of why motorcyclists slide out and go down. Gravel on roads and debris from other vehicles and accidents are a cause of why motorcyclists lay their motorcycles down but it can be prevented. Most of the time it is not the debris and gravel that cause the accident but the speed of the motorcyclist. Speed increases the chances of sliding out especially when debris and gravel are present. Do not ride into corners blindly or at high rates of speed. Make sure you can visibly see what is on the road ahead.

      • Experience

        superbikeYour chances of having a motorcycle accident are a significantly higher if you are a first year rider. Whether you ride on the roads or off the road, your capabilities will increase with experience. You must understand what your capable of riding. For a beginner we would never recommend a sport bike but to go with a bike that has a simple engine size ranging from 250cc to 400cc and to also ride only in suburbs where less cars are present. Once your ability to ride develops and ready to move up classes we would recommend an engine size between 400cc-600cc and then moving up to any size that is comfortable once you mastered the previous motorcycle sizes. We also do not recommend purchasing a brand new motorcycle for a beginner motorcyclist. As a rule of thumb, don’t expect your first motorcycle to last forever.

      • Rear-Ended Collision

        You come to an abrupt stop and then bam, the car behind you sends you flying into the car in front of you. It happens more than you think. Drivers become distracted easily, whether it be kids, the radio or a cell phone, you need to always see what is going on behind you. Every time you come to a stop always check your rear view mirrors. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your bike in gear, just in case you need to get out of the way. Do not stop directly behind a car but off to the sides.

      • Wet Conditions

        wet-conditionsWhen it rains the worst time to be out riding is in the first hour after it starts raining. Loads of oil from the roads come up from the cracks and make it slippery to ride. Not only that but the paint and man-hole covers become slippery to ride as well. Be sure to have appropriate tires with good tread on them to avoid skidding and sliding on the surfaces. Also dont ride through a storm or heavy rain fall. Visibility is sure to be a problem as well as hydroplaning through puddles. Go slow and ride smart.

      • Group Rides

        group rideGroup Rides can be an enjoyable time being out with your friends and buddies for a cause or just for the heck of it. Riding in groups can be just as dangerous if not done properly. Know group riding etiquette and ride safe for yourself and the others you are riding with. We recommend that you ride in small groups or even alone to prevent any accidents from happening. Know the people that are in the group and ride at a good distance away from each person and don’t ride with idiot friends, you know, the ones showing off and being the cause of the accidents in the first place. Be smart and ride safely.

      • Opened Car Door

        car dorrYou are riding down the road and notice a big area you could ride through to get around the traffic, it’s just between active moving cars and many parked cars. Then Gary opens his door to get out and bam, you are on the ground. We have all seen in happen in the movies, the Italian Job, the Bourne Movies, James Bond. Don’t think about doing it yourself, those movies are all planned but in reality you can do yourself a favor and just don’t do it. Not just doors but cars are trying to get out of their parking spot, people are putting things away in their cars, pedestrians are poking their heads out trying to get to the other side. Leave that lane open and be safe.

I am sure there are many more causes of motorcycle accidents but these are some common California causes of them. If you are ever in an accident that is not your fault or think is not your fault please contact The Reinecke Law Firm today at 1(800)275-8326. We only deal with motorcycle accidents and we have dealt with more than 2500 accident cases and we have over 25 years of experience. Contact us today for a free case review.

Motorcycle Safety Secret

looking ahead

looking aheadWhen riding your motorcycle it’s safe to say that your motorcycle is not the safest thing on the road. You are surrounded by thousands of people and you need to watch head to avoid everyone and everything on the roads. The secret to making it to work and home alive is to always keep your eyes open and ahead of the game. Okay, that’s not really a secret but if you want to be alive and safe you must be able to see what is going on around you and know what’s happening several hundred feet in front of you.

Riding with eyes wide open will give you time to react and make decisions ahead of what you could imagine that can occur at any second. Allowing yourself time and space will make navigating the roads and other drivers safer as well as making your awareness better to be seen.

Being safe is not only about seeing but it is also about making good decisions. Knowing that passing or lane splitting at high rates of speed can be highly unsafe and even fatal when attempted, also knowing the road conditions can be a great influence on how your motorcycle can react in different road conditions. We know motorcycles and motorcyclists are always about speed and cornering and doing stunts, sometimes all the same time but those who continue to push the limits will eventually feel the consequences. Be Smart, Be Aware, and Be Safe.

Here at the Reinecke Law Firm we see lot’s of motorcycle accidents day in and day out. A lot have to do with drivers and not so much the motorcyclists. We hope that drivers stay aware of the motorcyclists especially here in California where lane-splitting is legal and highly used.

If you are new to motorcycle riding we suggest that you take a motorcycle safety course near your place of residence.

If you are looking for an advanced motorcycle course or sportbike racing classes click the link here:

If you are ever in an accident call The Reinecke Law Firm at our toll free phone number at 1(800)275-8326.


Motorcycle crashes, deaths spike 23 pct. in SoCal: Gas prices, economy blamed


Jamie Rico has been in five crashes since he started riding motorcycles in his 30s. One of those crashes broke his spine.

“It’s not if you are going to be in an accident, it’s when,” Rico, 51, said in the garage of his Mission Viejo home as he gazed at his silver four-cylinder Honda sport bike, a luxury police-styled motorcycle.

But he kept riding — until this year. Watching another rider go down on the freeway convinced him to hang up his helmet.

“How many times could you get hit before you start really saying, ‘Wow, am I going to do it again?’” Rico asked.

A KPCC analysis of statewide crash data found overall motorcycle collisions and fatalities increased 23 percent from 2003 to 2012, the latest data available through the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System.

The statistics reverse an earlier trend. After reaching a peak in 2008, motorcycle accidents in California plummeted 16 percent the following two years before spiking back up.

Other vehicle accidents had been dropping along with motorcycle crashes and have kept dropping. Continue reading “Motorcycle crashes, deaths spike 23 pct. in SoCal: Gas prices, economy blamed”

Motorcycle Accident – Venice Boulevard in Culver City

An accident occurred a little before 3 PM today, March 8th on the South-bound I-405.

A motorcyclist splits lanes as he drives south on Intersate 405 freeway at the Sunset Blvd overpass in Los Angeles, California July 14, 2011. Starting tomorrow July 15, a 10 mile (16km) stretch of the 405 ? a vital artery that links population centers north and south of the Santa Monica Mountains ? will shut down for 53 hours. The closure, a necessary part of a major highway reconstruction project, is being dubbed "Carmageddon." AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

A report says that the accident occurred in the carpool lane near Venice Boulevard and the I-10 highway. It was a blue colored sport-type motorcycle, no account of the make or model. Reports say that the accident is minor but there is no confirmation of the condition of the rider or motorcycle.

There is no information as of right now as to how the accident occurred but it could be in the lines of lane sharing or splitting.

We hope the rider of this accident is okay as well their family. At The Reinecke Law Firm, we have been helping motorcyclists with accidents for well over 30 years. If you or a loved one has been in a motorcycle accident recently give us a call at 1(800)275-8326 today.


Fatal Motorcycle Crash On US 101 After Lane Splitting

A motorcyclist, who appeared to be Lane Splitting, was killed on Sept 22, 2015 in a crash on U.S. Highway 101 in Palo Alto. According to the CHP, the motorcycle collided with the rear end of a vehicle, the rider was ejected and suffered fatal injuries. He was pronounced deceased at the scene by emergency personnel.

While the accident remains under investigation, it has been reported by most news outlets that the motorcyclist was driving fast in slow moving traffic.

It is too soon to say if the motorcyclist was Continue reading “Fatal Motorcycle Crash On US 101 After Lane Splitting”