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!!

New Law for 2019

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Passing Waste Service Vehicles

3 Second StopA new law went into effect January 1, 2019, aimed at providing sanitation workers with more room to safely do their jobs. California Vehicle Code 21761−Passing Waste Service Vehicles requires motorists, when approaching and overtaking a stopped waste service vehicle with its amber lights flashing, to move into an available lane adjacent to the waste service vehicle and pass at a safe distance. If it is not possible to make a lane change, drivers must slow to a safe and reasonable speed.

New Law Alert

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Three Feet for Safety Act

sharetheroad3 Second StopAs of September 16, 2014, the Three Feet for Safety Act (California Vehicle Code 21760) went into effect. This law concerns motorists sharing the road with bicyclists. If you are in a motor vehicle traveling the same direction as a bicyclist, you may not pass the bicyclist “at a distance of less than three feet between any part of the motor vehicle and any part of the bicycle or its operator.” If it is not safe to pass a bicyclist due to the traffic or road conditions, be sure to slow down and follow at a safe distance until you are able to safely pass them. If you fail to follow this new law, you could be fined $35; and if a collision occurs “causing bodily injury to the operator of the bicycle” you could be fined $220.