New Year, New Laws

Each year, the California legislature passes hundreds of new laws. Keep reading to learn about new laws that impact the California Vehicle Code and California drivers.

Points for Distracted Driving

Current vehicle code law prohibits a person from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone in a handheld manner and the offense is already punishable by a fine. Beginning July 1, 2021, a point will also be added to a driver’s record for each hands-free cell phone violation occurring within 36 months of a prior hands-free conviction.

Approaching Stationary Emergency Vehicles

The existing “Move Over, Slow Down” Law that requires drivers to move over or slow down for road maintenance crews and emergency personnel on freeways, will now be extended to include highways, local streets and roadways. This law essentially states that drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights, including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles, must move to another lane when possible, or slow to a reasonable speed.

Unattended Children

Known as “Kaitlyn’s Law”, existing vehicle code states that you may not leave a child that is 6 years of age or under unattended in a motor vehicle if there are conditions that present a risk. Effective January 1st, 2021, this law has been updated to exempt a person from civil or criminal liability for trespassing or damaging a vehicle when rescuing a child who is 6 years old or younger and who is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of ventilation, or other dangerous circumstances.

Evacuation Siren

Effective September 29th, 2020, law enforcement agencies, upon obtaining a permit from the California Highway Patrol, may use a distinctive audible “Hi-Low” warning siren to be used to notify the public of an immediate need to evacuate an area in an emergency. This distinct warning sound has already been proven effective and will help save lives as California deals with the ongoing wildfire threat.

The state legislature must continually look at existing laws and make changes to continue advancing safe driving practices.  You, as a driver, must stay informed on new laws that have passed as well as evolving driving technology and defensive driving techniques to better equip yourself for the driving task.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year from all of us at TrafficSchool.com!!

Drowsy Driving Prevention

Sunday, November 1st marks the end of daylight saving time and kicks off the being of National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. In a study, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that in the United States drowsy driving is responsible for 328,000 crashes annually and that of those drowsy driving crashes 109,000 resulted in injuries and about 6,400 were fatal crashes.  National Sleep Foundation urges everyone to put sleep first and drive when alert and refreshed.  Check out the news clip below for great safety reminders and tips on avoiding drowsy driving!

Intersection Safety

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: Judging Time to Make a Maneuver

3 Second Stop

Judging time to make a maneuver requires you to estimate the distance and speed of other vehicles, and then proceed when you believe you have enough time to execute the maneuver safely. Whenever you drive in city traffic, you should always look a block ahead. It takes approximately 10 to 15 seconds to travel one block. If you are traveling on a highway with several lanes, or on a divided highway, check for vehicles in all lanes that you have to cross. Don’t forget to look for smaller bicyclists and motorcyclists and check crosswalks for pedestrians. You should cross or turn only after you have determined that you can complete the movement safely without impeding other road users.

Stop On Red 2020

National Stop on Red Week starts this Sunday, August 2 and runs through August 8. Red-light running is extremely dangerous.  Red-light runners cause hundreds of deaths and tens of thousands of injuries each year. Together, we can put a halt to the crashes, injuries and fatalities. Make the choice to stay alert and help people stay alive.

Safer on the Road

No Speeding Please

Due to less traffic on the roads in the last few months, more citations for excessive speed have been issued throughout the US. Even with less traffic, speeding motorists put themselves at greater risk. Speeding can lead to loss of vehicle control. Speeding increases the potential for more last second braking which increases the risk of a collision. Traveling at higher speeds mean less reaction time to respond to other collision factors, like other motorist’s driving errors, equipment failure, and poor roads. In addition, a crash at higher speeds will have a greater force of impact than at lower speeds. So even though an open road may be tempting you to drive a little faster, please continue to take your time and get to where you are going safe and sound.

REAL ID Deadline Extension

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: More Time to Get REAL ID

3 Second Stop

With people being encouraged to stay home to slow the spread of the Coronavirus, the Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline by one year. REAL ID enforcement will now begin October 1, 2021. In a statement issued on March 26, 2020, Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security, expressed, “Extending the deadline will also allow the Department to work with Congress to implement needed changes to expedite the issuance of REAL IDs once the current health crisis concludes.”

A REAL ID is a driver license or identification card that meets minimum security standards and is a federally accepted form of identification. A REAL ID can be used to board flights within the U.S. and enter secure federal facilities. For more information on REAL ID requirements in your state, check with your local department of motor vehicles.