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DRIVERS BEWARE: These 2013 CA Laws of The Road Start Today

In 2012, there were several driver-related incidents in Laguna Niguel. Several laws and amendments passed by the California State Legislature could affect many California drivers in the New Year.

Today marks a new year, and a new start.

It also means a brand new list of laws, and like every year, the state of California has made several. Another, California students were the first in the U.S. to receive mandatory classroom instruction about the contributions of gays and lesbians to the development of the United States.

For 2013, it appears this will be the year that affects drivers of all ages be it texting to implementing a silver alert for missing persons over 65.

I unfortunately there were a number of tragic pedestrian and car-related accidents that made headlines. The previous year saw one of the city's most beloved residents, Mara Steves die after she was hit by a car while trying to save a dog.

Below is a list of new driving laws or changes to existing laws starting today.

Passenger Charter-party Carriers’ Act, AB 45: Any driver of a chartered limo or bus will be required to make sure that passengers are of the legal drinking age when alcohol is being consumed in their vehicle. If a minor is found to have been drinking alcohol during the ride, the driver is required to return that passenger to where they were picked up.  

  • CHP Silver Alerts, SB 1047: The California Highway Patrol will implement a "silver alert" into its emergency alert system to allow it to assist in searches for missing people over the age of 65. 
  • Autonomous Vehicles, SB 1298: The law will allow for self-driving cars to be test-driven on public roads while a licensed driver is in the driver's seat. The driver will be able to take over immediate manual control in the event of vehicle failure or some other emergency.
  • Used Car Dealer Practices, AB 1534AB 1447: Under AB 1534, used car dealers that provide direct financing to buyers must label their cars with specific information about them, including reasonable market value and the source of the information. AB 1447 will require these dealers provide a vehicle warranty, limit them from tracking customer vehicles with GPS devices and prevent them from being able to electronically disable a vehicle without signed consent from the buyer at the time of purchase.
  • Hands-Free Text and Driving, AB 1536: The law will allow a person to send and receive text messages while driving if they are doing so using a phone's hands-free, voice-operated functions.   
  • Veteran License Plates, AB 1550: Veterans will be able to apply for specialized plates designating them as participants of specific wars or conflicts with the use of new decals. Old decals will be phased out depending on demand and cost of production.
  • California Legacy Plates, AB 1658: Drivers whose cars are registered in California will be able to opt for specialized license plates that look similar to plates used in the state in past years.
  • Traffic Violator School, AB 1888: The law will allow a driver with a commercial license who has committed a traffic offense to attend traffic violator school, thus preventing them from getting a point on their license.
  • Driving Under the Influence, AB 2020: A person arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, the option was given of either a urine test or a blood test.
  • Choose Clean Cars Act, AB 2405: Vehicles that meet California's super ultra-low emissions standards may qualify for stickers which will allow for single-driver travel in high-occupancy vehicle lanes. 
  • Vessel Registration Fees, AB 2443: The registration fee for boat owners will increase to support the monitoring and infestation prevention of dreissenid mussels, which attach to the bottoms of boats.
Charles January 01, 2013 at 06:32 PM
Nothing is perfect. There will be situations in which current carpool riders (like the one you just wrote) would lose out. However, for every one lady using the car pool lane for the purpose of carpooling with multiple kids, there are 69 cars in the carpool lane like a mom and her two year old who, with the "two licensed occupants" rule, would not be able to use the carpool lanes. In other words, this may prevent 50 legitimate people from using the carpool lanes but eliminate 3450 people working the loopholes.
Kathi January 01, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Making it 2 licensed occupants would be hard to enforce as you can not tell by looking whether a person has a drivers license. It needs to be such that an officer can easily tell by looking as a vehicle is being driven whether they comply or not. I think the way it is is ok. Although I'd just as soon get rid of HOV lanes.
Charles January 01, 2013 at 09:41 PM
There are plenty of laws that can't be enforced by simply looking in the car: driving while impaired, open container etc. That doesn't mean these laws shouldn't exist. Ease of enforcement shouldn't be a requirement for a law to exist. They're "We aren't going to look for it but if we catch it, then you're busted" kind of laws. Also, chances are, if there are two adults in the car, then they both have drivers licenses. If there is a mom and a two year old, then surely there is only one licensed driver. The only tough to discern situation is when there is one adult and one teenager. If the non driver is younger than a teen, then only one license, older than a teen, then most likely two licences. Besides, if the law was two license drivers, 90% of people would obey it anyway and the effect would be realized. Few people would risk it.
LagunaLucy January 04, 2013 at 03:10 AM
I just wish the bike lane laws were enforced. I walk my dog before and after work and each day, no kidding here either, I have a bicyclist asking me to get out of the way on the sidewalk so they may pass. uh? what? Once I pointed out the bike lane and the guy replied, Yea, Yea, have a nice day. thank you.... really?
wm c barker January 06, 2013 at 08:55 PM
glad i don't live in your state stop oppression

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