New driving laws for 2016

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  • #176917

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    There are as usual some new driving laws that will take effect in 2016. The new law the prohibits wearing earbuds or headsets in both ears while driving a car or riding bike is an interesting one. I thought it was already illegal to drive that way, but it’s interesting they added that to bike riding too.

    Another new law for bikers will require them to pull over when safe if they have 5 or more vehicles behind them.

    http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_29303051/california-drivers-can-expect-slew-new-laws-2016

    There are several new laws and changes to existing laws for 2016 when it comes to transportation.

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently released an updated list of approved Senate and Assembly bills and what drivers can expect for the new year.

    Driving Under the Influence: (SB 61, Hill) This law extends the existing Ignition Interlock Device (IID) pilot project to July 1, 2017 for, Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties. The IID pilot project requires a person convicted of a DUI to install an IID for five months upon a first offense, 12 months for a second offense, 24 months for a third offense, and 36 months for a fourth or subsequent offense. The project was originally set to end on Jan. 1, 2016.

    (Department of Motor Vehicles)
    Traffic Amnesty: (SB 405, Hertzberg) Among other things, this law amends the criteria for a person to be eligible for the traffic citation amnesty program. The traffic amnesty program was approved through the 2015-16 Budget Act. A person is eligible for the traffic amnesty program if he or she has not made any payments after Sept. 30, 2015, to a collection program for fines or bail already due. The law also indicates that payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or a civil assessment is not required in order for the court to remove the civil assessment of up to $300 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court.

    Earbuds or Headsets: (SB 491, Transportation Committee) This law, among other things, makes it unlawful to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. This prohibition does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs.

    Pedal-Powered Vehicles: (SB 530, Pan) This law expands the definition of pedicab to include a four-wheeled device that is pedal-powered, has a seating capacity for eight or more passengers, cannot travel in excess of 15 miles per hour, and is being used for transporting passengers for hire. This law sets requirements related to local authorization, operator qualifications and training, financial responsibility, accident reporting, safety equipment, and inspections. The law establishes rules and standards for pedicabs that allow passengers to consume alcohol on board, if authorized by local ordinance or resolution

    Consumer Protection – Starter Interrupt Warning: (AB 265, Holden) This law requires a “buy-here-pay-here” dealer to make certain disclosures and notices to a vehicle buyer when a vehicle is sold with tracking and starter interrupt technology installed. This law also requires advance warning be given to the purchaser prior to engagement of the starter interrupt technology, if the buyer fails to make timely vehicle payments. A “buy-here-pay-here” dealer is defined as a used car dealer that assigns less than 90 percent of their conditional sales and lease contracts to third party lenders; and therefore provide direct financing to car buyers.

    Electrically Motorized Skateboards: (AB 604, Olsen) This law defines “electrically motorized board,” and restricts their operation on public facilities, requires boards to be equipped with safety equipment, and authorizes cities and counties to regulate their use. It also makes it a crime to operate an electrically motorized board while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition, the law limits the board’s operation to individuals 16 years or older, requires operators to wear a bicycle helmet, wear safety equipment to increase visibility at night, and limits their operation to roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. A conviction for violating this law is punishable by a fine of up $250.

    Electric Bicycles: (AB 1096, Chiu) This law adds an entirely new definition of an electric bicycle to the California Vehicle Code. An electric bicycle is defined as a bicycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. The law creates three classes of electric bicycles. Manufacturers will also need to certify the electric bicycles comply with specified requirements. Electric bicycle riders will be able to use roads similar to other bicycle riders, while providing a measure of local control if safety concerns arise on specific paths or public trails.

    Transportation Network Companies: (AB 1422, Cooper) This new law requires a transportation network company (TNC) to participate in the DMV’s Employer Pull Notice (EPN) Program. TNCs provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform, to connect drivers using their personal vehicles with passengers. The program will provide each TNC with a report showing a driver’s current public record, as recorded by the department, and immediate notifications of moving violations, accidents, driver license suspensions, revocations, and other actions taken against the driving privilege. The DMV’s EPN program provides employers and regulatory agencies with a means of promoting driver safety through the ongoing review of driver records.

    California New Motor Voter Program: (AB 1461, Gonzalez) creates an automatic voter registration process for qualified individuals who apply for a driver license or identification card, or submit a change of address to the DMV. The law will require that DMV implement the New Motor Voter Act no later than one year after the Secretary of State certifies all of the following: the state has a statewide voter registration database that complies with the requirements of the federal Help America Vote Act of 2002 (52 U.S.C. Section 20901 et seq.), the Legislature, has appropriated the funds necessary for the Secretary of State and DMV to implement and maintain the program, and the Secretary of State has adopted regulations to implement the law.

    California Residency Requirement: (AB 1465, Gordon) This law will require an applicant for an original driver license or identification card to provide proof of California state residency, starting July 1, 2016 and it will bring DMV into compliance with a federal law requirement. The DMV will need to adopt regulations relating to the procedures for verifying that the applicant is a California resident.

    For complete information on chaptered bills enacted in 2015, refer to the California Legislative Counsel website athttp://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.

  • #291029

    Bainc
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    I also thought not having two ear buds was already a law. Hearing is a part of driving although a small part and this is a good idea.

    As for cyclist, I think you’re crazy if you ride with even one ear bud. You need to stay alert if you want to stay alive while cycling and I never ride with even one ear bud. I don’t even jog/run will earbuds because I like to be aware of my surroundings. The pull over law seems funny because I would never hold up 5 or more cars taking a lane while riding. No way if I’m climbing a curvy hill at 8 MPH that I’m going to hold up a vehicle that could be going 25-35 MPH. I know some cyclist are jerks so this law is apparently necessary but seriously why would do that?

  • #291023

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    @bainc 122524 wrote:

    I also thought not having two ear buds was already a law. Hearing is a part of driving although a small part and this is a good idea.

    As for cyclist, I think you’re crazy if you ride with even one ear bud. You need to stay alert if you want to stay alive while cycling and I never ride with even one ear bud. I don’t even jog/run will earbuds because I like to be aware of my surroundings. The pull over law seems funny because I would never hold up 5 or more cars taking a lane while riding. No way if I’m climbing a curvy hill at 8 MPH that I’m going to hold up a vehicle that could be going 25-35 MPH. I know some cyclist are jerks so this law is apparently necessary but seriously why would do that?

    What if it is a group of riders though? Say 20, are they all going to pull over? The key is that it has to be safe for them to do it. They don’t have to pull off into the ditch to let you pass.

    When I jog I have ear buds on but I can still here what is going on. I like them because it makes it a lot easier and helps take your mind off running or walking. Makes it go by faster. I don’t use them in the car, unless I am making a phone, which almost never. I don’t have one of those blue tooth things. Never liked them. If someone calls, I just put it on speaker phone on my iPhone so i don’t have to hold it to my ear and get busted. 🙂

  • #291030

    Bainc
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    @EGL Admin 122526 wrote:

    What if it is a group of riders though? Say 20, are they all going to pull over? The key is that it has to be safe for them to do it. They don’t have to pull off into the ditch to let you pass.

    IDK, most driving conflicts, cycling conflicts, and vehicle/cycling conflicts can be solved by using common courtesy and common sense. The problem is neither of those things are very common.

  • #291024

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    Absolutely. we had this discussion a few months ago that drew some ire from some folks. I don’t think it’s an issue so much around town as it may be in rural areas or two lane roads.

  • #291032

    Janicca
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    Thanks for the update!

  • #291031

    Bainc
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    If a driver is courteous enough to follow the 3 foot clearance law when passing cyclist and waits behind me because it’s not clear to pass you better believe I’m pulling over to let them pass ASAP with a waive acknowledging them for not buzzing past me.

  • #291022

    DivotMaker
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    I was talking to some fellow cyclists about that law with the 5 cars behind you thing. The consensus is none of us could think of one road where having 5 cars unable to pass us as a possibility. I’ve ridden 5,000 miles this year up in Auburn, the majority on rural roads, and can’t think of one road where this could ever happen. Maybe in more densely populated and heavily traveled areas with no bike lanes?

  • #291026

    adiffer
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    Someone got a legislator to believe they were doing something useful then. 8)

  • #291028

    ErinO
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    Electrically motorized skateboards? Is that Hoverboards? Do they fall into the electrically motorized skateboard category? Gosh, I hope so. I have a 10 year old who thinks he needs a hoverboard, and if he can’t legally ride one until he’s 16, that would just make my day. The fact that they are so dangerous AND likely to burn the house down hasn’t really deterred his desire for one, so maybe being illegal to ride until he’s 16 will.

  • #291025

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    @erino 122756 wrote:

    Electrically motorized skateboards? Is that Hoverboards? Do they fall into the electrically motorized skateboard category? Gosh, I hope so. I have a 10 year old who thinks he needs a hoverboard, and if he can’t legally ride one until he’s 16, that would just make my day. The fact that they are so dangerous AND likely to burn the house down hasn’t really deterred his desire for one, so maybe being illegal to ride until he’s 16 will.

    Yes they do fall into that category. Lots of parents are upset because they didn’t know this before buying one for their kids. Another one caught fire here locally over the weekend. We have a few friends that got one. I think it’s a fad, like the kendamas and everything else. I know what would happen if our kids got one. They would use it all the time for a week and then it would sit there unused.

  • #291027

    newmom
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    My kids wanted one too, but when the news came out about the fire danger they changed their minds. The law about being 16 only helped. A lot of friends were bummed though since they got them for the kids and now can’t really use them.

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