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CHP announces new laws affecting motorists

Friday, January 3rd, 2014
Issue 01, Volume 18.

SACRAMENTO - The California Highway Patrol has issued a reminder regarding several new laws or changes to existing law that went into effect in 2014. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws that, unless otherwise stated, went into effect on Jan. 1.

Amber Alert: Expansion (AB 535, Quirk): This law requires law enforcement to request activation of the Amber Alerts after receiving a report that a child has been taken abducted by anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child.

Bicycles: Passing Distance (AB 1371, Bradford): This law prohibits motorists from passing a bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of 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. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect Sept. 16.

Charter Bus Carriers: Limousines: Emergency Exits (SB 109, Corbett): By January 1, 2016, every limousine that has been modified or extended to accommodate additional passengers shall have two rear doors and one or two internally removable rear emergency windows. If such modifications occurred on or after July of 2015, these requirements apply immediately after July 1, 2015. All new limousines manufactured after January 1, 2015 must meet these requirements as well.

High Occupancy Vehicle Lanes (AB 266 / SB 286, Yee / Blumenfield): Together these laws extend sunset dates for Advertisement
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low emission, zero emission vehicles to operate in high occupancy vehicle lanes (HOV) without meeting

occupancy requirements to January 1, 2019.

Hit and Run: Statute of Limitations (AB 184, Gatto): This law extends the statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result. A criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense.

Registration Fees: Vehicle Theft (AB 767, Levine): This law authorizes counties to increase registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.

Search Warrants: Chemical Tests (SB 717, DeSaulnier): This amendment to current law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable, medically-approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test. This law has been operative since September 20, 2013.

Teen Drivers (SB 194, Galgiani): This law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.

For complete information on chaptered bills enacted in

2013, please refer to the Legislative Counsel website at



Comment Profile ImageDenny
Comment #1 | Saturday, Jan 4, 2014 at 10:34 am
Given that the absence of installed sidewalks and curbing on the North side of Stagecoach between Mission Road and Knollwood Avenue remains a serious safety issue and given that pedestrian fatalities have occurred there in the past, those who travel in the vicinity of the High School should know and understand the following:

Frequently Asked Questions
Related To School Zones
Is it legal to drive across double yellow lines or raised markers to pass stopped traffic? No. Never drive to the left of these lines unless you are: Turning left at an intersection or turning into or out of a private road or driveway. (California Vehicle Code 21460(a) and (d)), (California Driver Handbook, Page 17)
When parking near a stop sign how far away must a vehicle be from the stop sign? The bumper of a parked vehicle cannot extend into any portion of the rounded corner of an intersection. (California Vehicle Code 22500), (California Driver Handbook, page 44)
Can I park on the North side of Stagecoach Lane? It is against the law. Where there are “No Parking” and “No Stopping” signs no portion of the car may stop along the curb beyond the pole the sign is mounted on. It is also illegal to drive over the curb and park on sidewalks or bike paths. This applies at all curbs adjacent to the school. (California Vehicle Code 21956, 22106, 22500(f), 22504(a) and 22505(b)), (California Driver Handbook, page 44)
Can I park in the designated loading zone (painted yellow) and walk my children into the school? No, a loading zone is simply that. When the vehicle is unoccupied or not in the process of being loaded or unloaded, it is considered parked. (California Vehicle Code 21458(a)),
Can I cross mid-block between the crosswalks? No, it is not legal to cross mid-block. You must cross at a marked crosswalk when crossing guards are present. (California Vehicle Code 21955)
Can I stop within an intersection? No. A driver of a vehicle shall not enter an intersection or marked crosswalk unless there is sufficient space on the other side of the intersection or marked crosswalk to accommodate the vehicle driven without obstructing the through passage of vehicles from either side. (California Vehicle Code 22526)
Bicycle: If you allow your child to ride their bicycle to school, make sure they wear their bicycle helmet correctly and properly secured. Also teach your child to follow bicycling laws i.e. riding on the right-hand side of the road (same direction as traffic), stopping for stop signs, and a maximum of one occupant per bicycle.
Pedestrian Safety: Teach your child how to cross the street by using the crosswalk and looking in both directions for traffic. Use the crosswalks that are staffed by crossing guards.
Driving in school zones: Abide by all traffic laws. Remember the speed limits in school zones are 25 MPH when children are present (regardless of the posted speed). Drive cautiously in school zones, children often do not pay attention and may run in front of vehicles. Buckle up yourself and your children.
Parking at the school: Please abide by all parking zones in and around the school; they are strategically placed for you and your child's safety.
Fire Hydrants: Do not park within 6’ (prolongation of the curb line) of a fire hydrant. The fine is $105. The curbs are not required to be painted red.
Driving and parking in school zones can be a hectic time for parents. Try the following tips:
Arrive early- Even 5 minutes earlier can make a difference.
Car pooling- One seatbelt per child.
Park only in designated locations - Walk to the school. Encourage exercise.
Prearrange a location for your child to wait for you- Make sure the location is safe and legal for you to stop in.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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