New California Laws
From AAA Magazine, January 1999
Who’d have thought it? Vehicle license fees go
The votes are in the laws have been replaced if damaged The motorist
passed. The California Legislature has must carry proof of proper
installation. hammered out an updated version of the state’s Vehicle
Code. (Get this: Over 10 additions were made to the Vehicle Code about
transporting kitchen grease!) Some changes that affect California drivers
include lower vehicle license fees, extending the stoplight camera
program for red-light runners, and a measure that helps protect money
designated for highway use from being diverted to other projects. Here
are some highlights:
A 25 percent reduction in the vehicle license fee, collected at the
time you register your car, goes into effect January 1. The fee could be
reduced further in the future if certain state General Fund conditions
are met. Assembly Bill (AB) 2797.
Stoplight cameras that help catch red-light runners are now permanent.
A new law repeals the January 1, 1999, sunset date for “automated
enforce-ment devices” at traffic control signals. Senate Bill (SB)
Payment options for some
People who face hardship in paying traffic infraction fines soon can
be sentenced to community service instead. The courts will have the
discretion to determine what consti-tutes a financial hardship. AB
Don’t even think about it
No vehicle may be equipped with any device that can jam, scramble,
neutralize, disable, or otherwise interfere with a radar, laser, or any
other electronic device used by the police to measure speed. Not only is
using such devices illegal, but you can’t even purchase, possess, sell,
manufacture, or distribute them either. SB 1964.
Bothered by ultraviolet rays?
Motorists will be allowed to put UV ray blocking material on
front-side windows, but the material must be clear and must be removed
Keeping the roads safe
Large, noncommercial vehicles, such as RVs, are the focus of a
resolution requiring a study of whether vehicles 80 or more inches wide
and 80 or more inches high contribute to traffic accidents when driven in
the left lane on multilane freeways. Assembly Concurrent Resolution
Protecting highway funds
A ballot measure passed by voters in November now places certain
restric-tions on the loan of revenue from fuel taxes to the state General
Fund. The restrictions include the requirement that the General Fund
repay the loan in full and during the same fiscal year in which it was
borrowed. This state Constitutional Amendment was approved by the voters
and is now in effect. Assembly Constitutional Amendment 30.
A new law changes the penalty for people who knowingly flee from a
peace officer. Now, a minimum of six months in prison is required for
anyone who flees a peace officer. (The maximum time in prison for this
offense is one year.) AB 2066. The prison term for people who willingly
flee a peace officer, and in doing so cause a person serious injury or
death, is increased to three to five years. AB 1382.
All laws go into effect January 1, 1999. unless otherwise noted.
Nevada’s legislature meets in alternate years, and 1998 was not a
legislative year. Utah lows generally go into effect on July 1; the
July/August VIA will include a summary of new troffic laws for that
state. A digest of motoring laws, with more details and information, is
available at AAA district offices.