New California Driving Laws Now in Effect

The new year brings new driving regulations to the Golden State.

The new year always brings with it a new set of laws.

This year, there are a number of new driving laws that took effect on Jan. 1.

“The changes to California’s traffic safety laws are designed to protect the motoring public,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “Citizens are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these new laws in advance of the new year. Adhering to the rules of the road may save your life, or the lives of your fellow motorists.”

The following is a list of updates to California laws that all drivers should take into account. 

  • AB 2020: A person arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, officers gave the option of either a urine test or a blood test.
  • AB 45: Bus and limousine drivers will be held responsible for telling all underage passengers that drinking alcohol is illegal. If alcohol is being transported in a bus or limousine with underage passengers on board, a person at least 25 years old must be on board to ensure there is no underage consumption.
  • AB 1536: It will be legal to send and receive text messages with hands-free devices powered by voice-operated software. 
  • AB 1708: Drivers will have the right to show proof of insurance on a smartphone or tablet when pulled over. 
  • AB 2405: Cars with Clean Air Vehicle stickers will be allowed to use High Occupancy Toll lanes. 
  • SB 1298: Self-driving cars will be allowed on public roads for testing purposes as long as a licensed driver is in the driver's seat. 
  • SB 1047: CHP will begin a Silver Alert system similar to Amber Alert, but for missing people over 65 years old. 

What do you think of the new laws? What law would you add to make our roads safer? Tell us in the comments.

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Rhino in the Redwoods January 03, 2013 at 02:14 AM
My grandfather wandered off a couple of times, in a large city. He couldn't remember where he lived. Needless to say, my mom, sibs and I were more than worried. Fortunately he was found ok both times. Additionally a few years later I came across an old man that was in the same predicament. Took him to the nearest restaurant to call paramedics and made sure he had some liquids as he was dehydrated being in a wool suit in 90+degrees. I think SB 1047 is an idea long overdue.
Mona Taplin January 03, 2013 at 05:57 AM
Silver Alert is not a joke to those caring for a Senior Citizen with dementia. I'm glad the law is now recognizing the need for this.
Jennifer Brummett January 06, 2013 at 02:54 AM
LOL! That's what I was thinking.... Good one!
Jennifer Brummett January 06, 2013 at 03:28 AM
I don't think anybody thinks its a joke.... I highly agree w/ you! I've had several relatives that have suffered from dementia & I know how scary it can be to worry about them! This law is a positive & necessary one!
Nadja Adolf January 09, 2013 at 03:28 AM
Years ago when I was an undergraduate, we had a roommate who never locked the doors (we later held a house meeting and evicted him after a frightening incursion.) One day my then husband and I came home from campus and found a confused elderly man sitting in our living room. While the roommate who tended to leave doors unlocked ridiculed us, we called the police and reported that we had found an elderly man who could not tell us his name in our living room. The roommate who didn't lock doors thought we should just put the old man out of the house into the weather! Within five minutes a middle aged woman arrived; the man was her father, and he had wandered away from his nursing home. I think the Silver Alert is a very good idea. That poor man didn't even seem to know his name anymore, let alone where he lived. Had he not wandered into our house, he could have wandered into a busy street, or died of exposure. Fortunately, he found a nice warm living room with a couch to sit on.


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