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New Traffic Laws Going Into Effect In 2014

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With the New Year approaching, there are more things to keep in mind than just resolutions. The California Highway Patrol wants motorists to be aware of several new laws going into effect on January 1.

Bicycle Passing Distance: This law will prohibit drivers from passing a bicyclist with less than three feet of space between the two. When there is no room to pass, the driver must slow, and may only pass when there is no present danger to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless if there is a collision or not. The law goes into effect Sept. 16, 2014.

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Limousine Emergency Exits: By Jan. 1, 2016, limousines modified or extended to accommodate additional passengers must have two rear doors and one or two internally removable rear emergency windows.

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Hit-And-Run Statute Of Limitations: The statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions resulting in death or permanent, serious injury will be extended. A criminal complaint can be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after a suspect was initially identified by law enforcement — whichever comes later, but no more than six years after the offense.

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Registration Fees: Counties are permitted to increase registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.

Search Warrants: This amendment to the current law will allow a search warrant to be issued to draw blood from a person to prove he or she violated misdemeanor DUI provisions if the person refuses an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test. This law went into effect on Sept. 20.

Teen Drivers: Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from texting while driving, even if their wireless device is equipped with a hands-free device.

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For complete information on new laws, refer to the Legislative Counsel website.

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