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New Year Ushers in New Traffic Laws for Californians

On New Year’s Day, several new traffic laws went into effect in California that may prevent accidents and help keep all Golden State road users safe.Changes to DUI LawsAmong the new laws are changes to two existing driving under the influence (DUI) rules. Law enforcement can no longer impound someone’s vehicle if their only offense is an invalid driver’s license. All drivers are still required to stop at DUI checkpoints.The other change involves sentencing for repeat DUI offenders. A person whose license has been revoked for 10 years because of three or more DUI convictions can apply to reinstate his or her license after five years if they have installed and used an ignition interlock device for at least two years. The Department of Motor Vehicles can, of course, revoke a license if the requirements are not fulfilled.Hopefully, the use of ignition interlock devices will help reduce the number of DUI accidents in San Francisco by making it more difficult for habitual offenders to get behind the wheel.

New Reckless Driving Changes

Changes have also been made to the licensing rules for those convicted of reckless driving. Now, these drivers can apply for a restricted license before they complete the one-year suspension if they fulfill certain requirements, which may include the installation of an ignition interlock device. Another change makes it illegal for vehicles to cross double white lines.

Other Changes

There are also several miscellaneous changes that took effect January 1 st. A new child safety law requires children fewer than eight years old or less than four feet nine inches tall to use a car seat or booster seat while in a vehicle. Children must also ride in the back seat unless a vehicle lacks a back seat or the back seat is completely occupied by other children.

Two new road and parking laws have been instituted. A new double fine zone on Vasco Road between Interstate 580 in Alameda County and Walnut Boulevard in Contra Costa County will be in effect until January 1, 2017. Additionally, cars parked in EV Plugin Parking Spots must be charging. Non-electric vehicles or cars not being recharged are prohibited from using these special spots.

Lastly, a new law grants municipalities the right to regulate advertising on motor vehicles that are parked or standing on a public street. Vehicles with painted or permanently affixed signs are exempt from this law.

The goal of the new traffic laws is to prevent car accidents in San Francisco and injuries. New DUI and reckless driving laws will give offenders incentive to change their behaviors, making busy roads such as I-80 and I-280 safer for commuters. The other changes to reduce vehicle speed and tighten child safety seat regulations will help protect child occupants and other passengers from injuries in a motor vehicle accident.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a motor vehicle accident, it is important that you select a personal injury attorney you can trust. In addition to having experience, you want to know that your attorney is committed to working with you to get compensated for your injuries. Hiring a San Francisco car accident lawyer with an extensive history of aggressive advocacy can give you peace of mind while you focus on your recovery.

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