The state always issues new traffic laws and initiatives that take effect the first of the following year. Many drivers are unaware of the changes and get tickets, fines and possibly worse.
Avoid getting into trouble by reading this article. Remember that “ignorance” of the law is no defense in court. If you get caught doing something that the authorities have deemed illegal, you will face penalties. Do not become a statistic, know the new 2017 CA car laws.
Small Children Must Sit Facing the Rear in Car Seat
The state passed this law in 2015 and it takes effect January 1, 2017. Authorities believe motorists have had enough time to prepare for the change. Little compassion will be shown for those in violation of the law.
Parents must now strap their children under two into an approved child passenger seat facing the rear. This change is expected to protect toddlers from being thrown forward at sudden stops.
There is an exception if a child under two is somehow over 40 inches tall or weighs more than 40 pounds.
No Holding a Cell Phone While Driving
Drivers cannot be in physical possession of an electronic device while driving. Though the state already has a law requiring hands-free operation of mobile devices, many got around the rule by having their gadget on voice control while holding it. Technically, they were not actually typing text or pushing digits; however, in fact, they were holding the phone in their hands, which is still dangerous.
Beginning in 2017, being caught with a device in the hands while driving will be an offense. Motorists must have a phone mount that does not obstruct their view. Click here to read more on this new law.
DUI Offenders Need Ignition Lock
Any driver serving a DUI defense will have to install an ignition lock device on their car if they want to get back on the road. These devices are rather costly, of course.
Many DUI offenders request a restricted license in order to use their vehicles for important purposes, such as driving to work. The state wants to help keep these offenders off the bottle by requiring them to blow into the ignition lock device before the car will start.
Motorcycle Rider Education to Increase
Lane splitting by motorcycles remains legal, even if dangerous. In 2017, the California Highway Patrol will recognize the threat of lane splitting by offering an increased educational focus on the issue. Cyclists will have made available to them training courses on how to lane split more safely.
Child Safety Initiatives for Public Vehicles
Public vehicles that transport children must have a child safety alarm system installed. Moreover, the organization or company must demonstrate proof of an active procedure to ensure that no child gets left behind alone on a vehicle such as a school bus.
Tour Bus Inspections to Increase
The California Highway Patrol will begin in 2017 to dialogue with cities about tour bus vehicle inspections. Currently, the level of compliance with expectations and regulations is not where the state would like things to be.
To ensure that tour buses remain safe, increased inspections will take place in the future. These 2017 policy discussions will begin the process.
Be Aware and Be Safe
One of the implied responsibilities of a license to drive is having knowledge of the rules of the road. Motorists must remain abreast of any changes in the laws. Unfortunately, most do not. They become aware of the new rules only after hearing about a rash of tickets and fines on the news.
Do not get caught unaware. Be sure to know the above changes and remain safe on California roads.