New Laws in California in 2018 for Drivers
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) of California has several new laws that every driver should be familiar with, that is unless anyone wants to be caught on the wrong side of a law and risk getting a ticket, severely fined and worse, getting their license revoked. Many of these laws have been in the making for quite some time so you may or may not be surprised. There is an official list available online. The DMV will also include these new laws in the motorcycle handbook, driver handbook and the official website.
- California has legalized the cultivation, distribution, sale and consumption of recreational marijuana. However, you cannot consume marijuana while you are driving. The DMV has effectively banned smoking, vaporizing or ingesting cannabis in vehicles. Anyone not adhering to this law will be allotted negligent driver points. This new law also applies to co-passengers, including those in the rear seat.
- All buses need to have seatbelts in compliance with the federal safety standards if they are being used to ferry kids aged sixteen or younger. Parents or anyone who drives a bus with a child or several children aged eight years or older will have to make special provisions to have the seatbelt if the vehicle doesn’t have one. All passengers aboard a bus that has seatbelts should use them throughout their journey. Violating either of these two laws will lead to a ticket.
- The DMV mandates that anyone driving a car for commercial purposes should not have blood alcohol content of more than 0.4 when they are carrying paying passengers in the vehicles. This applies to all kinds of commercial cabs, be it Uber or Lyft and the usual taxis or limos. If drivers are found violating this law, then their license could be revoked.
- Low income residents and immigrants in California can now declare that they would not be operating their vehicles if they have pending parking tickets. The law is aimed at making it easier for people to repay the fines for parking violations.
- Vehicles that have green and white decals right now will not be able to access the carpool lanes. Only low emission vehicles can access carpool lanes and it is not influenced by the number of people riding in the vehicle. This law will be in force for four years after which there will be a review. Cars that would have their decals expire this year can have new decals issued in 2019, which will also grant those vehicles access to toll lanes that have high occupancy till the end of 2021.
- Handicapped placards will be issued only after applicants have provided their date of birth and authentic full name. A maximum of four replacement placards can be provided every two years. Renewals will not require any new medical certificate. Family members of deceased firefighters can apply for California Firefighter license plates. The new law enables spouses, partners and children to opt for such plates, replacing the old law that was confined to only one plate for the spouse of a fallen firefighter or to those serving and retired.