Californians Must Get Ready For New Traffic Laws in 2014

Posted on December 26, 2013

With January 1 less than a week away, citizens of California have to be cognizant of some of the changes in traffic law that are bound to affect them in the future.  The legislature has passed certain rules that will require you to alter the way you approach motor vehicle operation.  A news release from the California Department of Motor Vehicles relates those laws, and in doing, it necessarily offers hints as to how to stay on the right side of the law and boost your own safety and that of others.

One of the new laws concerns teenagers at the wheel.  If you have a child of driving age but under the age of 18, then it’s important that you continue to stress the need to refrain from the usage of a cellular device while driving.

Currently, it’s illegal for all drivers, not just teens, to send a text while at the wheel of a vehicle.  Drivers are also barred from using their phones to carry on a handheld phone conversation.  One thing that is still legal for all demographics is the sending or reading of a text message by way of a hands-free device.  That changes on January 1, when teenagers will be prohibited from using even a hands-free device to interact with text-based communications.

This is important, as one can’t underestimate the distraction that even a device not requiring manual manipulation may create.  Even if the message is read or input perfectly via voice command, the driver will still necessarily face a mental distraction.  Plus, the chance that the message is taken down perfectly isn’t very high.  Persons may have to double-check the message, another act that will take the eyes and the mind off the road.

Drivers are going to be required to be more responsible in how they share the road with persons on bicycles.  The Three Feet for Safety Act offers protection to cyclists in the form of a a three foot cushion that drivers are supposed to provide such commuters on bikes when they set out to pass.

Although this law won’t actually be enacted until next September, it’s best to keep safety paramount and start providing drivers with that cushion now.  In areas where the three foot space can’t be provided, speed must be slowed appropriately and drivers must ensure their actions won’t put cyclists at risk.

One other law would allow drivers with learner’s permits from out of state to take their commercial license test within California.  The information would then be provided to the state that the person is seeking the license in.

For more new laws and how they affect you, make sure to click the link above.

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