Starting in January 2017, various new laws are slated to take effect in California. Some of the laws are designed to improve traffic or driver safety. Here are some of the new laws that you should be aware of for the coming year from the California legislature.
Restricted Cell Phone Use by Motorists
The new law prohibits drivers from holding any type of wireless device, including a cell phone. It is suggested that the device should be mounted in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger side, or in a five-inch corner of the lower windshield on the driver side. Alternatively, the device can be mounted on the dashboard as long as it does not obstruct the airbag, or the driver’s view of the road. Cell phone use is a concern because distracted driving causes thousands of traffic accidents and hundreds of deaths each year.
Child Alert System on School Buses
New improvements for school bus safety are always under consideration. The new law for 2017 requires all school buses to be equipped with a child safety alert system. The alert is designed to provide an alarm if a child is left on an unattended bus. The law applies to all school buses including those used for school activities and child care buses. The alert system should help keep children safe.
Tour Bus Safety Inspections
Tour bus accidents can cause severe injuries and deaths on the highway. Tour buses are a common method of transportation for many people taking vacations or trips. The new legislation allows CHP to work with local governments to increase the number of safety inspections that take place for tour buses. The hope is that by increasing inspections, tour bus companies will properly maintain and repair buses so that they remain safe on the roads.
Motorcycle Lane Splitting
Motorcycles are allowed to split lanes as long as it is done in a safe manner. Lane splitting occurs when a motorcycle travels in the same lane as vehicles that are stopped or moving. While the law is already in place, the new bill allows CHP, California Highway Patrol, to create guidelines for safe lane splitting. CHP will be able to develop and distribute educational motorcycle safety information. Motorcycle accidents are among the most deadly type of crashes that occur in California and elsewhere.
Motor Vehicle Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents with injuries and fatalities continue to rise, even with increased vehicle safety features. The new legislation will help to reduce the number of accidents and lower the amount of injuries and deaths on California highways. CHP hopes to continue work to educate motorists on driving safety. If you suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident, you may be entitled to money for damages. Legal action may be necessary to get the money necessary to cover all your needs.
(image courtesy of Mike Wilson)