Five New Laws Affecting Drivers in 2014

2014 has finally arrived. Along with your resolutions, the New Year brings along lots of new legislation. It is unlikely that that you are aware of all 800+ laws that went into effect yesterday. Thus, here at Slice of PI, we would like to highlight five new transportation related laws that will be affecting California motorists in the New Year.

1. Bicycle Passing Distance (Buffer Zone)

  • This law prohibits drivers from passing a bicyclist with less than 3 feet between the vehicle and the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist.  This law will go into effect Sept 16, 2014.
  • If you would like to read more about the new bicyclist buffer law, check out earlier blog post.

2. Hit and Run Statute of Limitations

  • This law extends the statute of Limitations (SOL) for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result. More specifically the law states that “if a person flees the scene of an accident that has caused death or permanent, serious injury, charges may be brought either one or 3 years after the completion of the offense, as specified, or one year after the person is initially identified as a suspect in the commission of the offense, whichever is later, but in no case later than 6 years after the commission of the offense.”
  • If you would like to read more about SOL relating to motor vehicle accidents, check out our FAQs.

3. Teen Drivers and Hands Free Texting

  • This law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text-based communication while driving, even if the driver was utilizing hands-free technology.
  • It should be noted that regular texting and driving was outlawed in 2009.

4.  Limousines Emergency Exits

  • This law states that by January 1, 2016, every limo that has been modified to accommodate additional passengers shall have two rear doors and one or two internally removable rear emergency windows. In additional, all new limousines manufactured after January 1, 2015 must meet these requirements.
  • This legislation was passed after several fatal accidents occurred in the Bay Area where limo passengers were unable to exit the limo safely in an emergency situation.

5.  Amber Alert Expanded

  • This law requires law enforcement to request activation of the AMBER alert system after receiving a report that a child has been abducted by anyone, including a parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child.

Thanks for reading Slice of Appel PI today and we hope you continue to read and share our blog with others in 2014.

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