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New driving laws to hit the road in 2014

Four driving bills go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 — one more late next year

Posted: December 29, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 29, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

The new year brings with it a series of new transportation-related laws set to go into effect statewide. Below are the details for some of the more notable changes in store for 2014.

Assembly Bill 1371
This law prohibits motor vehicles from passing bicyclists on the road unless they can do so with at least three feet of separation.

If the three-foot buffer is not possible, the vehicle must slow down and only pass in a way that does not present a danger to the cyclist.

Those who fail to abide by this law can be fined, regardless of whether a collision occurs or not.
This law goes into effect Sept. 16 of next year.

Assembly Bill 767
This law authorizes counties statewide to increase vehicle registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles.

Funds raised by the increase would go toward programs related to vehicle theft crimes.

Vehicle registration fees are based on place of residence, the type of vehicle and whether the vehicle is equipped with specialized license plates, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Senate Bill 194
This law prohibits anyone under 18 from using any type of electronic wireless communication device to read, send or write text messages while driving, even by using hands-free technology.

This means teenagers would be barred from using voice-recognition or Bluetooth technology to send or receive messages while driving.

Other state laws already prohibit those under 18 from talking on a phone while driving, even if the device used to make the call is hands-free.

Assembly Bill 266/Senate Bill 286
These two laws allow low- or zero-emission vehicles to drive in carpool lanes, regardless of how many passengers they are carrying, until Jan. 1, 2019.

Vehicles deemed to have low or no emissions, such as hybrids, have been allowed to use high-occupancy vehicle lanes for years. These two bills delay the expiration dates for those programs.

Assembly Bill 184
This law extends the statute of limitations on hit-and-run collisions that cause permanent or serious injury or death.

The bill extends the statute of limitations for those types of offenses from the current three years to as long six years after the date of the offense.

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