EEvery driver on California roads must pass a Driver’s Education course, obtain a learner’s permit, and eventually pass a written and practical driver’s exam from the Department of Motor Vehicles. The Driver’s Handbook, in addition to the mandatory classroom curriculum, provides an almost mind-numbing array of rules, regulations, and guidelines. Drivers are responsible for knowing and abiding by all road-rules at all times. Unfortunately, the rule book changes and grows on a regular basis.
On January 1, 2013, a few new laws went into effect. California legislators voted to either add or change a few laws that affect the way we drive. Here are a few of the most notable changes:
► Assembly Bill 2020 will help law enforcement and prosecutors to better identify and convict persons driving under the influence of drugs. Drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs will no longer have the option to choose a chemical test of their urine to determine drug content. If a blood test is unavailable, then the person is deemed to have given his or her consent to a urine test.
► Assembly Bill 1658 says that DMV will accept applications for a series of three specialized license plates that replicate plates from California’s past. Motorists will be able to choose from a minimum of three styles: yellow background with black lettering, black background with yellow lettering, and blue background with yellow lettering.
► Assembly Bill 1447 prohibits used car dealers from requiring buyers to make payments in person, except for the down payment, and limits the circumstances under which “buy-here-pay-here” dealers may track a vehicle using electronic tracking technology (GPS tracking).
► Assembly Bill 1534 requires “buy-here-pay-here” used car dealers to affix and prominently display a label on any used vehicle offered for retail sale that provides the reasonable market value of the vehicle. The prospective purchaser must also be provided with a copy of the information that the dealer used to determine the vehicle’s value.
► Assembly Bill 1888 allowscommercial drivers to attend traffic violator school (TVS) for violations that take place when operating non-commercial vehicles.
► Assembly Bill 1550 increases the fees for the issuance, renewal, and personalization of veterans’ organizations license plates to benefit the County Veterans Service Officers Fund. And, allows Veterans to apply for specialized plates designating them as participants of specific wars or conflicts with the use of new decals.
► Assembly Bill 45 requires drivers of chartered limos or buses to make sure that passengers are of the legal drinking age when alcohol is being consumed in their vehicle.
► Assembly Bill 1536 allows drivers to send and receive text messages while driving if they are doing so using a phone’s hands-free, voice-operated functions.
► Assembly Bill 1708 allows drivers to show proof of insurance on a phone or tablet.
► Assembly Bill 2405 allows vehicles that meet California’s super ultra-low emissions standards to qualify for stickers that allow for single-driver travel in high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
► The California Department of Motor Vehicles has also issued an allowance for what they call a “Limited Term Legal Presence Driver License.” The DMV is permitted to issue a driver license or identification card to an applicant who submits satisfactory proof that the applicant’s presence in the United States is authorized under federal law.
So, whether you want to talk-and-text, buy a new-used car, or drink in a limo these new laws affect you. For more information go to http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/newsrel/newsrel12/2012_18.htm
Category: CA Driving Laws