Listed below are summaries of several new California vehicle laws which became effective on January 1, 2008. For further detail, go to www.leginfo.ca.gov.
SB 7: Smoking in Vehicles with Minors Present
Fine of up to $100 for smoking cigarettes, pipes, or cigars in any vehicle occupied by a minor.
AB 645: Traffic Violations-Traffic School
Prohibits courts from dismissing serious traffic violations through completion of traffic school. Serious violations accrue two points to a driver’s record, including drunk driving, hit-and-run, speed contests, evading an officer, and vehicular manslaughter.
AB 1531: Disabled Parking
Limits renewal of temporary disability parking placards. Increases fines for illegal parking in disabled spaces.
AB 801: Stealth License Plates
Prohibits devices that obstruct or impair the recognition of license plates by electronic devices operated by law enforcement or toll authority. Fine for usage: $146; for selling device: $900.
The following laws go into effect on July 1, 2008.
AB 808: Driver License Application Declaration
Requires applicants for new or renewal driver’s licenses to acknowledge that a driver under the influence causing death, may be charged with murder.
SB 1613: Wireless Telephones
Prohibits usage of handheld devices such as wireless telephones and other communication equipment while driving. Entirely hands-free devices are permissible. $20 Fine for initial violation; $50 for subsequent violations.
SB 33: Wireless Telephone Usage by Minors
Prohibits drivers younger than 18 years of age from using any electronic communication device while driving; including hands-free equipment and text messaging. $20 Fine for initial violation; $50 for subsequent violations.