A bill by Pasadena Assemblymember Chris Holden which would require the California Department of Motor Vehicles to include information in the California Driver’s Handbook regarding a person’s civil rights during a traffic stop has passed in the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing.
Holden introduced the bill in February. It passed the Assembly in May and ordered to the Senate where it passed the transportation and housing committee Tuesday.
Under Assembly Bill 2918, the new information that will be provided in the Driver’s Handbook will be determined by a group of stakeholders convened by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“The Driver’s Handbook includes suggestions on how to conduct one’s self during a stop, but stops short of stating the rights of the driver,” Holden said. “Being informed of these rights are critical in situations that can quickly go from calm to worse.”
The stakeholder group will be directed to provide information about the extent and the limitations of a peace officer’s authority during a traffic stop, and the rights of drivers and passengers, the bill said. This information will be developed by the DOJ and DMV after consulting with stakeholders in public safety and civil justice.
“Studies show that people of color in California are most affected by traffic stops,” Holden said. “Safety is paramount and staying informed of the driver’s rights can help alleviate stress and avoid escalations caused by being on edge.”