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New California Driving Laws Start Tomorrow

The new year brings new driving regulations to the Golden State that take effect Jan. 1, 2013.

The first day of January always brings with it a new set of laws.

This year, there are a number of new driving laws that take effect tomorrow, Jan. 1, 2013.

“The changes to California’s traffic safety laws are designed to protect the motoring public,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  “Citizens are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these new laws in advance of the new year. Adhering to the rules of the road may save your life, or the lives of your fellow motorists.”

The following is a list of updates to California laws that all drivers should take into account. 

  • AB 2020: A person arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, officers gave the option of either a urine test or a blood test.
  • AB 45: Bus and limousine drivers will be held responsible for telling all underage passengers that drinking alcohol is illegal. If alcohol is being transported in a bus or limousine with underage passengers on board, a person at least 25 years old must be on board to ensure there is no underage consumption.
  • AB 1536: It will be legal to send and receive text messages with hands-free devices powered by voice-operated software. 
  • AB 1708: Drivers will have the right to show proof of insurance on a smartphone or tablet when pulled over. 
  • AB 2405: Cars with Clean Air Vehicle stickers will be allowed to use High Occupancy Toll lanes. 
  • SB 1298: Self-driving cars will be allowed on public roads for testing purposes as long as a licensed driver is in the driver's seat. 
  • SB 1047: CHP will begin a Silver Alert system similar to Amber Alert, but for missing people over 65 years old. 

What do you think of the new laws? What law would you add to make our roads safer? Tell us in the comments!

Brittney Hanson December 31, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I think the new laws for calif. drivers is a joke, and a waste of time. money, and effort to have printed the new laws. I cant believe our law makers thought these topics were so important that they needed to be law. So pathetic
Mieke Degger Sherwood December 31, 2012 at 04:00 PM
AB 1536 should not happen...What are they thinking. More innocent people will die. I agree with Brittney's statement, its so pathetic...
Chris J Kapsalis December 31, 2012 at 04:58 PM
There is still a "distracted driver" law they can use no matter what the other laws say.
H Hudson December 31, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Agree...too many people are already minimally focused on their driving ...... the world is not going to fall apart if you can't text for half an hour, or whatever the length of your trip.......sheesh
Dick Duncan December 31, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Multi-lane freeways would benefit from speed designated lanes to accommodate various driver needs and capabilities. Left lane 75 mph, next to right 65 mph, right lanes 55 mph, something for everybody. Passing should be done to the left side and cars should drive to right lanes when possible to leave passing lanes open. The current practice of people wanting to get on the freeway and get in the left lane and cruise has those wanting to go faster moving in to the right slow lane to do their passing. Not a good match up as the closing speeds with those slower drivers in the slow lane can create problems. Most current cars and knowledgeable drivers are perfectly safe driving freeway speeds of 75 mph and typically do. The faster speeds on a freeway is the only way to achieve a reduction in the number of cars on the road and reduce traffic congestion. More lanes on a freeway without drivers following a lane speed discipline only creates larger volumes of congestion and frustrated drivers resorting to I'll conceived strategies such as driving fast in the slow lane. The motto is "Drive Right - Pass Left"
CT- West December 31, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I agree , and also might add that there is no Drivers Training any more in schools, so children for the last 10 years have not been getting the basics of the responsiblty of driving . Foot on the gas and the ---- with everyone else.
Trina January 01, 2013 at 04:06 AM
Exactly. Who is traing these young drivers? Their idiotic friends no doubt. I do not know of any patent who has actually paid a driving school to teach their child the written nor the practical aspects of driving.
Chris J Kapsalis January 01, 2013 at 11:39 AM
Statisticlly teenage drivers and elderly drivers are the most dangerous drivers on the road...
Yvonne Lobato January 01, 2013 at 07:13 PM
SB 1298: You mean we have cars on the road that drive without someone in the seat? What? I must be reading this wrong, right? AB 2405: Why should this be? Some people can't afford to buy this type of car, or want too. Why should they have it like this anyway. I thought this is why we had to pass the smog in order to drive the car on the road..Toll Lanes "diamond" were made for multiple people not for SINGLE occupancy. This really is upsetting to me...All should be for 2 or more. Not some with three or more...580 and Bay Bridge to name a few.... AB 45: WOW, Really? Everyone knows what the drinking law is 21. Why pick on the Limo Driver or Bus Driver? Don't you think we tell them there not to drink while in the car???? Dumb, just dumb.. Mr. Duncan, I agree to your statement on the lanes of the road... But the speed is 65 no matter the lane, fast or slow..I have seen people drive at least 80 or even more by how fast they pass me and get so far ahead of me you no longer see the car anymore. Even coming up on me like there in such a hurry yet to come to a stop sign and I then catching up to them...The heck with that just make it open speed no matter how fast like the autobound. More Deaths will take place.
Captain Bebops January 01, 2013 at 10:57 PM
The year didn't get off to a good start for somebody because as I was leaving the Waterfront Park cars were backed up and police, fire and an aid car were there. Seems that someone had managed to overturn their SUV and it was resting on the lawn. Traffic started moving as I reached the backup or I would have snapped a picture and uploaded it. Haven't seen any coverage on the story but I don't know how going into the park one would have enough speed to overturn a vehicle.
Chris J Kapsalis January 01, 2013 at 11:19 PM
There has to be a person in the drivers seat. This is for testing purposes of prototypes for cars that may drive themselves someday.
Paul Kangas January 02, 2013 at 02:19 AM
People driving electric cars should not have to pay at parking meters. Burning oil causes global warming. We all need to drive electric cars. I just imported a red one from China, called the Chery, only $15,000. Seats 2, looks great. My solar panels charge it up in 2 hours. It goes 200 miles on one charge.
louise shoemaker January 02, 2013 at 04:12 AM
75 mph?? now that would be nice- but the idiots that want to pass are going 80 or 85 if not 90.....
Dennis Poirier January 02, 2013 at 05:06 AM
AB 2405 should be for two licensed drivers, to take axtra cars of the road. Not one driver and a child.
CA Male January 04, 2013 at 06:57 AM
LoL Your theory is waaay off base and not accurate under any scenarios. The difference between 55 and 75 MPH in time saved on a 30 minute cummute is so irrelevant that this law would be a total waste of time to enact such law and even more so to enforce it given how it would ammount to about 5 minutes. One Law I would support would be to make it illegal for anyone to drive under 65 MPH in the Laft (Fast) Lane... Then naturally, those azzholes who drive 55-65 MPH in the fast lane would start to "get the hint" and move over. Nothing can sour my commute or drive in general like a jerk cruising 65 or slower in the fast lane.
MIDDLECLASSMAN January 06, 2013 at 11:14 PM
Aren't we "Law-abiding" citizens already "overwhelmed" by too many "as sine" laws already??? And our OWN "Law-makers" don't abide by their own laws anyway!!! Does'nt anybody out here see the "HYPOCRISY"???
3mm February 08, 2013 at 04:16 AM
These are followable,sef explanatory and adapting to the new mellinium!

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