New California Traffic Laws for 2013

by admin on April 26, 2013

california-traffic-laws-2013

In the United States, the law is constantly changing and evolving. This is a very good thing – if it never changed, we’d still be stuck bootlegging moonshine in our bathtubs! Over the last decade, the ability to change, adjust, and even create new laws has been essential. There wasn’t a law against using your smartphone in your car 150 years ago (mostly because there weren’t smartphones and cars 150 years ago).

This year, there have been several updates to California law that went into effect on January 1, 2013. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse for disobeying it, so check out the following list; if you don’t know them, you could wind up breaking them accidentally.

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE (Bill number: 2000)

Due to advances in blood test accuracy, the urine test is no longer an available option for people who have been arrested and suspected of DUI.

ELECTRONIC WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS (Bill number: 1536)

This is the law that permits the use of hands-free texting and talking while driving in California. Remember, the operative words are: HANDS-FREE.

FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND INSURANCE (Bill number: 1708)

This is a pretty smart one to have: Drivers can now provide proof of insurance and registration on a tablet or smartphone if they are pulled over.

AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES (Bill number: 1298)

This one allows “driverless cars” to operate on public roads for testing purposes, provided that a licensed and bonded driver is on the driver’s seat to take control if necessary. So if you happen to drive past a car, and the driver is not, well, driving, he might just be testing the autopilot capabilities of his car.

EMERGENCY SERVICES: SENIORS (Bill number: 1047)

This law creates a specific alert in the event that a person age 65 or higher is reported missing. If the missing senior meets the criteria (unexplained or suspicious circumstances, or otherwise in danger due to age, health, or disability), the CHP will issue a “Silver Alert.”

CHILD PASSENGER RESTRAINTS (Bill number: 1452)

All hospitals, clinics, and birthing centers in California are now required to provide and discuss child safety seat requirements, installation, and inspection to new parents and caregivers, upon discharge of a child, if the child is less than 8 years of age. This is especially helpful for first-time parents who may not have thought about how to properly restrain their child in the car.

For a complete listing of all the 2013 laws and updates, you can go to the official California Legislative site. If you’re concerned about keeping abreast of the law, or you just need to brush up on your defensive driving skills, a California approved online traffic school course is a great option. Most California Internet traffic schools cover the basics of the law as well as updates older drivers may have missed.

Some people may grumble at all the new restrictions and laws that get put into place. That’s fine if you want to grumble, but it’s important to know that the people in charge of California’s legislature aren’t meeting late at night in a secluded corner of a shadowy bar, conspiring as to how they can make your life more inconvenient. They’re trying to keep you safe, and possibly save your life.

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