The New Year is here with us again. While this new season has brought with it new resolutions, change, and hope, there are also some new California traffic laws that residents need to familiarize themselves with. The following are among driving rules in California that became effective on January 1, 2014.

Bicycle Passing Distance

New California traffic laws require drivers to you to if you are passing a bicycle that is heading in the same direction as you, you will be required to go past it at a distance not less than three feet. However, if it is not possible, you must slow down to a reasonable speed. You are only allowed to pass when there is no potential danger. If you fail to do this, you will have to pay a fine even if there is no collision between you and the bicycle. This is one of the most important driving laws in California. This law will go into effect on September 16 2014, so get into the habit now of giving bicyclists three feet of space.

Commercials Driver’s License

With this new driving law in California, the Department of Motor Vehicles will be allowed to access the commercial driver test for anyone holding a commercial permit from another state. Additionally, all the information will be transferred electronically to the MVD in the resident state of the person applying for it. The law can also modify the license to allow the applicant operating a vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds to hold a Commercial Class B license. However, if you are operating any vehicle weighing less than 26,000 pounds, you will be allowed to hold a regular Class C license.

Vehicle Registration and Transfers between Family Members

You will not be allowed to transfer your vehicle to another family member until any violation fees and penalties are paid by you.

Teen Drivers

This new California driving law prohibits any person under the age of 18 from using any electronic communication device while on the road even if the car is equipped with hands-free equipment. Now, in addition to being prohibited from talking on a cell phone while driving (this includes using a hands-free device or speaker), California teen drivers under 18 are also now prohibited from texting (including writing, sending, or reading a text message) and this includes the use of voice activated speech-to-text feature. The new California traffic law now makes any use of an electronic device by a minor while driving illegal.

However, teen drivers as well as adult drivers should be reminded of the distracted driving ban that continues to be in effect in California. California’s distracted driving ban is not limited to banning the use of electronic devices while driving, but rather prohibits any activity which will cause the driver to be distracted.

Spread the word of the new 2014 California traffic laws to friends and family and drive carefully!