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New Rules for the Road

Several new laws governing California drivers go into effect in the new year.

The California Highway Patrol intends to make our roads safer with several new laws. Here are some of the major ones:

Don’t light up if there’s a kid in the car. Whether the car is stopped or moving, this law prohibits people from smoking in their cars if minors are present. CHP can’t stop you if they suspect you’re violating this law, but they can cite you for it if they stop you for something else.

No street racing the Segways.  It’s illegal to operate an Electronic Personal Assistive Mobility Device at speeds that might arm others. EPAMD operators also must give right of way to pedestrians on foot and the disabled.

Don’t hide your license plate using a spray-on product designed to make it difficult for devices like toll booth cameras and license plate readers to read your license. The use and sale of these products is prohibited.

Also, don’t hide yourself if you’re a cyclist. If you’re riding on a dark highway, sidewalk or bikeway, lights and reflectors are now required by law.

Keep it real. If your vehicle has a fake registration, registration sticker, license plate or registration display, a peace officer can now tow it instead of just cite you for it.

Finally, don’t text and drive. Starting in July 2008, it will be illegal to use a wireless phone while driving, unless you’re using it hands-free. For minors the regulations are tougher: A new law also going into effect in July prohibits minors from using any wireless devices while driving, even if they are hands-free. Exceptions will be made in times of emergency.


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