CALIFORNIA â€“ With a new year come new laws. The California Department of Motor Vehicles wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, that took effect on January 1.
SB 61 – Driving Under the Influence: Requires a person convicted of a DUI to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) for five months upon a first offense, 12 months for a second offense, 24 months for a third offense, and 36 months for a fourth or subsequent offense. The project was originally set to end on January 1, 2016.
SB 405 – Traffic Amnesty: A person is eligible for the traffic amnesty program if he or she has not made any payments after September 30, 2015, to a collection program for fines or bail already due. The law also indicates that payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or a civil assessment is not required in order for the court to remove the civil assessment of up to $300 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court.
SB 491 – Earbuds or Headsets: It is unlawful to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. This prohibition does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs.
SB 530 – Pedal-Powered Vehicles: Â Expands the definition of pedicab to include a four-wheeled device that is pedal-powered, has a seating capacity for eight or more passengers, cannot travel in excess of 15 miles per hour, and is being used for transporting passengers for hire. This law sets requirements related to local authorization, operator qualifications and training, financial responsibility, accident reporting, safety equipment, and inspections. The law establishes rules and standards for pedicabs that allow passengers to consume alcohol on board, if authorized by local ordinance or resolution.
AB 265 – Consumer Protection – Starter Interrupt Warning: Requires a â€œbuy-here-pay-hereâ€ dealer to make certain disclosures and notices to a vehicle buyer when a vehicle is sold with tracking and starter interrupt technology installed. This law also requires advance warning be given to the purchaser prior to engagement of the starter interrupt technology, if the buyer fails to make timely vehicle payments.
AB 1095 – Electric Bicycles: The law creates three classes of electric bicycles. An electric bicycle is defined as a bicycle with fully operable pedals and an electric motor of less than 750 watts. Manufacturers will need to certify the electric bicycles and comply with specified requirements. Electric bicycle riders will be able to use roads similar to other bicycle riders, while providing a measure of local control if safety concerns arise on specific paths or public trails.
AB 1422 – Transportation Network Companies: Requires a transportation network company (TNC) to participate in the DMVâ€™s Employer Pull Notice Program. TNCs provide prearranged transportation services for compensation using an online-enabled application or platform, to connect drivers using their personal vehicles with passengers. The program will provide each TNC with a report showing a driverâ€™s current public record, as recorded by the department, and immediate notifications of moving violations, accidents, driver license suspensions, revocations, and other actions taken against the driving privilege.
AB 1461 – California New Motor Voter Program: Creates an automatic voter registration process for qualified individuals who apply for a driver license or identification card, or submit a change of address to the DMV.
AB 1465 – California Residency Requirement: Requires an applicant for an original driver license or identification card to provide proof of California state residency, starting July 1, 2016 and it will bring DMV into compliance with a federal law requirement. The DMV will need to adopt regulations relating to the procedures for verifying that the applicant is a California resident.