The state of California has made several resolutions of a sort – about 800 new laws will go into effect in 2013.
Below is a list of the new laws or changes to existing laws that will likely affect you as a California driver.
- 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 for assistance in searches for missing people over the age of 65.
How will these laws affect you? Tell us in the comments section below.
- 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 1534, AB 1447: Under AB 1534, used car dealers who provide direct financing to buyers must label their cars with specific information, including reasonable market value and the source of the information. AB 1447 will require these dealers to 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.
- Electronic Car Insurance AB 1708: Law enforcement will now be required to accept proof of insurance on a driver's phone or tablet.
- 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 of 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.