Last Update: Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Laws To Live And Drive By PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun   
Thursday, 02 January 2014 00:00

For those who’ve had the sickening feeling of finding a ticket on the windshield while parked at a broken meter, the pain is now gone. Starting Jan. 1, if you park in front of a non-working meter or payment station you can park there for the posted time limit and not receive a ticket. It is one of the new laws approved by the California legislature that take effect this year.

There is also an additional crackdown on the use of cell phones and texting while driving. Beginning Jan. 1, drivers ages under age 18 can no longer use hands-free texting applications, including voice recognition devices such as Apple’s SIRI. Other changes in 2014 include providing more room on the road for bicycle riders, meaning drivers must allow a minimum three-feet distance between their vehicle and the cyclist when passing.

If the three-feet distance is not possible because of traffic or roadway conditions, drivers most now slow to a “reasonable and prudent speed,” and pass only when it doesn’t endanger the cyclist’s safety. Fines for violating the new law start at $35 for the base fine (and more than $150 if court and/or other fees are included). If there is an unsafe passing that results in a crash and injury to the rider, the fine could reach $220.

The law goes into effect on Sept. 16. The changes don’t just affect being on the highway. In January 2015 the Department of Motor Vehicles will be required to issue driver’s licenses to persons who are ineligible for a Social Security Number if said person can provide additional documentation of their identity and residence.

Those licenses, however, will not be accepted for official federal identification (such as going through airport security) or other purposes. And there was one law that didn’t change. You must still pay fees for alternative fuel development and deployment ($3), and smog abatement for vehicles six y ear s or older ($8) through 2023.

Last Updated on Thursday, 02 January 2014 19:13

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