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Green Light on a Bunch of New Driving Laws

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

For most of us, it's been a long time since we were forced to take a driving test — written, or behind the wheel. And while we like to believe we are still competent in the driver's seat, a lot has changed since the time we were issued a license.

Every year, new driving laws go into effect. This year, Jan. 1 brought with it a new set of regulations that are important to know.

“The changes to California’s traffic safety laws are designed to protect the motoring public,” said California Highway Patrol 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 on suspicion of drunken driving 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.
  • AB 45: Bus and limousine drivers will be held responsible for informing 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 and registration on a smartphone or tablet when pulled over. 
  • AB 2405: Cars with Clean Air Vehicle stickers will be allowed to use High Occupancy (carpool) 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 these new laws? Any driving laws you think should have made the list but didn't? Tell us in the comments below.

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Sylvia Barry January 06, 2013 at 03:54 PM
The one about "Self-driving cars will be allowed on public roads for testing purposes as long as a licensed driver is in the driver's seat" is quite interesting to note - wonder when Self-Driving cars will be a reality on the road without a licensed driver?

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