New California Driving Rules Go Into Effect Jan. 1, 2014
AB 1371, known as the Three Feet for Safety Act, a driver passing a bicycle that is traveling in the same direction must maintain at least 3 feet of distance between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or rider. When 3 feet is not possible, the motor vehicles are required to slow to a “reasonable and prudent speed” and pass only if there’s no danger to the bicyclist. Violations can result in a fine, regardless of whether a collision or injury to the bicyclist results. This law takes effect Sept. 16, 2014.
AB 60 accomplishes something immigrant advocates have sought for many years, namely, driver’s licenses for immigrants who are in the country illegally. The California Department of Motor Vehicles will spend this year developing rules for issuing the licenses, which will become available by Jan. 1, 2015.
In response to a pair of deadly limousine fires in 2013, SB 109 requires limousine drivers to instruct passengers on safety features. Other provisions of the law require limousines to have at least two doors and at least one push-out window that functions as a safety exit kick in July of 2015 or 2016, depending on whether the limo is a new model or an old one that needs to be retrofitted.
Finally, no more hands-free texting for teen drivers: SB 194 prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using their cell phones to compose or read text messages, even if the teens are using a voice-activated feature such as Siri. This ensures that inexperienced drivers will not be distracted by text messages during the first few years of driving when inexperienced drivers should avoid any potential distractions.
You can read more about these new laws and others taking effect Jan 1, 2014 in this Sacramento Bee story.
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