New California Driver Laws
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California is the most populous state in the US, with nearly forty million residents. It is also home to some of the most congested freeway and highway systems anywhere in the world. There are about 34 million cars in the golden state, and that doesn’t even include motorcycles, RVs, and other specialized motor vehicles. Lawmakers continually augment state driver laws to keep up with current trends and keep all motorists as safe as possible. As the news is fast upon us, let’s take a look at the new California driver laws and how they might apply to you.
California is currently the only state in the USA that allows motorcycles to lane split. This means a cycle can cut between two lanes on the freeway and pass another vehicle. Assembly bill 51 (ab) allows the CHP or California Highway Patrol to create new rules for motorcyclists that engage in “lane splitting.” The CHP will create an advisory committee and draw up various new guidelines. The new regulations will attempt to improve this somewhat risky practice and avoid numerous crashes each year. Many bikers are worried that in the future, “lane splitting” will be outlawed, but for the time being, it looks like it will still be legal.
All motorists involved in an accident that either causes injuries to another person or damages over $1,000 are required by law to report the incident to the DMV. In prior years, the amount of damage was only $750, but now with a higher threshold, lawmakers hope minor crashes get resolved without the use of the police or DMV. Any person in an accident that results in damages greater than $1,000 must fill out form SB 491. If you have any questions, contact your local DMV or go online at DMV.CA.GOV.
Senate Bill 1046 – Those motorists that are repeat DUI offenders and first-time offenders that get into a crash will be required to install an IID or ignition interlock device. Motorists must use this device for between 6 to 48 months, at which time their license may be reinstated in full. This law will not be active until January 1st, 2019. Ignition interlock devices have proven to be widely effective in reducing the rate of intoxicated motorists. They significantly reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on California roadways.
Bill AB 1785 has changed the book’s current laws regarding wireless communication devices, like smartphones, while operating a motor vehicle. The new law for 2017 requires drivers to mount each device on their automobile while driving. These devices can be affixed to the windshield, console, or center dash area, as long as the driver’s view is not obstructed. These devices are only permitted if the driver can both activate and de-activate each device with a one-motion swipe. The hope is that these new laws will significantly reduce “cell-phone” related crashes and deaths.
Bill AB 2687 – It is a bill that is related to DUIs. It creates a new benchmark for BAC or blood alcohol content, with a limit of 0.04. The law won’t take effect until July, 1st 2018. It is targeted at so-called “ridesharing” services like Lyft and Uber, where drivers are responsible for passengers’ transportation and safety. It reduces the BAC limit for these operators from .08 to .04. So far, management from both Lyft and Uber seems to support this new law.
AB 516. This new law was passed recently but won’t go into effect for another couple of years, on January 1st, 2019. It will mandate that the DMV develop a system for dealers to report vehicle sales electronically. The system will also require the DMV to electronically issue new temporary license plates for all vehicles that do not have current license plates. Auto dealers will then be required to fix these temporary plates to the car before customers drive it. The automobile owner will have 14 days to install permanent license plates on the automobile then.
As you can see from the new California driver laws, technology is rapidly evolving, and lawmakers are trying to keep up. One significant benefit to drivers connected to the internet is getting lower auto insurance rates online. At sites like Good to Go Insurance, most consumers can save up to $550 in only a few minutes. Get your Goodtogo quote today and see how easy saving money on auto insurance can be.