New Laws You Should Know When Driving Your Car
As the new year comes around and we go back to our daily lives, it’s important to know what is expected of us.
Maybe 2017 was a year of firsts. Perhaps 2017 was a year that you are now glad is in the past.
Have you had car trouble? Maybe a DUI?
You could have bought your very first brand new car. Any way you look at the past, we must all now focus on the future.
Part of that is abiding by the laws set forth this year. 2018 could be full of surprises and great possibilities.
But, without fail, it will certainly have some new traffic and safety laws you will need to know about.
There are always the tried and true laws such as carrying the proper cheap car insurance or maintaining your current registration.
But, law makers set dates for new laws to come into full swing, and it usually starts at the beginning of each year.
Let’s find out which laws you will want to know and look over a couple old ones that we all tend to forget.
What You Should Already Know
First, the big one that everyone needs to know and respect is the fact that you must have car insurance to drive.
In any state in the United States, cheap car insurance is a must.
There are different minimum limits for every state, but for the most part you need at least liability insurance.
Here is an example of the limits you will need if you live in the state of California:
- Bodily Injury Liability Limits: $30,000 per occurrence/ $15,000 per person
- Property Damage Liability Limits: $5,000 per occurrence
These cheap car insurance options will only protect the other party involved in a crash.
There are other options which will protect your and your own vehicle.
This is mostly true for all other states as well.
Find out what minimum amount of insurance you will need in your own state.
Many times if you have a loan out on your vehicle, the banks will make you have full coverage.
Full car insurance coverage usually looks like this:
- Collision coverage which will cover your own vehicle and costs if you are in an accident.
- Comprehensive coverage which will cover theft to your car as well as other minor damages.
- Medical coverage for you and your passengers- Medical coverage can make a huge difference for your security and safety.
- Towing and roadside assistance- You may not only need this for a crash, but if you break down. Roadside assistance can save you time and money.
- Rental reimbursement- You could be covered or reimbursed for a rental car when you are involved in a crash.
- Uninsured Motorist coverage- this will make sure that you are still covered even if someone without insurance hits you.
There are also added coverages such as glass coverage and extra medical coverage. But for the most part, if you have your liability covered, you will OK driving in most states.
California is one of the more strict states when it comes to traffic and safety laws because there are a large amount of people living in the state.
Registration cards must be kept in your vehicle at all times
Another thing to always remember when driving, is to have your cars registration in the vehicle at all times. Your insurance cards must also be present.
If an officer pulls you over, you need to be able to show him/her your vehicles registration. You will be fined if you cannot do this.
Vehicles need to be registered to the owner of the vehicle and up to date. The sticker on your license plate that the DMV gives to you must also be current.
You could be heavily fined for not registering your car.
If you are handicapped, then a special handicapped sticker must also be present.
Other important laws which are a big deal in every state:
- Drinking and driving violations. In California the alcohol limit is .08%. This law is soon to be .04%. California is the most strict of all of the states for drunk driving. The penalties for drunk driving are: loss of license as well as fines and possible jail time.
- Driving without a license or driving with a revoked license. This is a huge issue everywhere. You could lose your license if you are caught driving without one. You could also have your car impounded if you do not carry a valid state drivers license.
- Illegal U-trun. You might not think of this as a big deal, and most of us have made an error by not following this law. The truth is, with most states, this law is a huge safety regulation because of how traffic and streets are set up. Many crashes occur because this U-turn law is not followed. Like it or not, follow the street signs and you will stay safe.
- Leaving the scene of an accident. This is also known as a hit and run. Not only is this dangerous for the potential driver that you hit, but it automatically sets the president that you did something wrong. You will incur heavy fines and even jail time if you leave the scene of an accident. many people choose to flee if they do not have the proper insurance or license.
- Reckless driving. Reckless driving can be defined as any sort of driving that puts others in danger. This could be swerving between lanes, or speeding and even reckless tailgating of the person in front of you.
- Child restraint violations/ seat belt laws. These laws are important for the protection of children as well as other passengers. Each state has their own sets of laws for age and height of a child that no longer needs a safety seat. Proper instillation of the car seat of safety seat are also mandatory.
- Texting or talking on the phone while driving is not only dangerous but shown to cause accidents.
You might think of these laws as old or idealistic, but the truth is we all break them at some point.
Maybe not all of them, but when was the last time you texted whiled driving?
Most states have similar laws when it comes to safety.
The purpose of the law and of police officers is to provide us with safety.
No matter how ridiculous some of the laws may seem to you, they are in place for a reason.
2018 Laws You Should Know
Because California has the most traffic and safety laws being passed in 2018, this state gets its own section.
Many of these laws have been in debate over the past couple of years but will now in 2018 take effect.
See how these laws could affect you:
- In California a new law will be passed this year in regards to handicapped placards. As of January 1st, you must show your proof of name and birthdate to apply for a placard. This law also limits the amount of placards that can be distributed to one person. This will hopefully stop people from using them unlawfully and for the wrong reasons.
- Also in California, it is still unlawful for you to smoke or distribute Cannabis in the car while driving. These penalties will be similar to drunk driving penalties.
- Beginning July 1, it will be against the law for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger is in the vehicle. This will mean that drivers of a passenger for hire, in their personal vehicles, will be held to a higher standard of safety while transporting people. You will have a suspended license if caught doing this not to mention heavy fines.
- When riding a bus in California, it will be required to wear a seatbelt if there is one available for you to use.
- For low-income violators of parking fines, these fines can be paid prior to a conviction. This means that it gives people a chance to try and pay or set up a payment plan before they have penalties put against them. This is just one way that California is trying to help their low-income residents start to become more successful.
- Vehicle registration fees will also be going up in 2018. This extra fee will go towards road maintenance and up keep for the State of California.
- Non-functioning parking meters will not be allowed to fine people parking by them. This law makes it so that law enforcement cannot bar a driver from parking in front of one of these non-working meters.
- Oregon has a new “move over” law that will be taking effect in 2018. Other states that will be passing this law include Washington and New York state. This law makes it mandatory for vehicles to move to the side of the road for emergency vehicles. This also includes volunteer firefighters, police officers and paramedics. With congested roadways, it is very difficult for emergency vehicles to find their way through traffic.
- Car buyers in the state of Washington will no longer be allowed to write off the tax on their new purchase.
- North Carolina will write into law a procedure for how police conduct themselves with citizens when pulling them over. With the recent shootings over the past couple of years, law makers find it necessary to have a more thorough procedure for how this works and to make it public. This law requires there to be a written handbook for these procedures and make it public knowledge for the citizens of North Carolina.
- Texas is creating an electronic odometer reading process which should speed up the DMV part of registering a car and buying and selling a vehicle.
- In Colorado in 2018, it will now not only be illegal to hit and run, but your license will be revoked. If you leave the scene of an accident, there will be more severe penalties in the State of The Rockies.
With the advancement of cars and the population growth in this country, it’s no wonder we have so many traffic laws and regulations.
One of the largest crimes related to driving is drunk driving. Every state varies on the severity of penalties placed.
But one thing every state has in common is that drunk driving is illegal.
The process for getting ones license back after they have been convicted of a DUI is not an easy process either.
Each state wants to ensure that the person getting behind the vehicle will want to protect their fellow man.
Here is the process which makes it hard to regain the steering wheel:
When you are convicted of a DUI, you will be restricted in a few ways.
First, you must pay heavy fines and possibly even search jail time.
When hoping to get out of the dark and start driving again, many states choose to regulate you for another three years.
In the state of California, you will need to attain SR22 insurance.
To do this you must pay your insurance company to acquire and sign off on the appropriate documents.
SR22 Insurance is a vehicle liability document required by the Department of Motor Vehicles for “high-risk” drivers.
It is a document issued by your insurance company showing proof that you are carrying the minimum amount of auto insurance required in your state.
SR22 documentation is “proof of financial responsibility” for drivers who have had their licenses
revoked or suspended for any number of reasons, including:
- Excessive violations within a certain time frame.
- Driving without insurance.
- Outstanding traffic or parking fines.
- At-fault accidents while uninsured.
- Reckless driving.
Not every state makes a strong case for drunk drivers returning to the road.
At least 6 states do not require this sort of documentation.
Traffic Safety School and The Importance of Safe Teen Drivers
We don’t often look at the real statistics of driving.
The proof lies within the statistics.
Not only are they new to driving, they are naive and reckless.
This is why car insurance for a teen is much more expensive. They are more likely to cause accidents.
Drivers safety courses are one great way to make sure your teen not only knows the traffic and safety laws, but abides by them.
There are steps to take in order to pass your permit test and driving test.
Many states are making these steps harder and harder, which is great.
But statistics still show that a teen driver is more than twice as likely to get into an accident than a driver over the age of 25.
It doesn’t mean that they are necessarily drinking and driving, although that comes into play sometimes too.
For the most part, accident occur with teen drivers because they are distracted. Either from texting, talking on the phone, or driving friends around.
These are just a couple of the reasons that traffic laws are constantly changing, being added and morphing.
In more congested states, like California, traffic laws are added almost yearly it seems.
It may seem like a lot to the average person who drives.
But, when you take the time to look into the statistics, you will be glad that there are laws providing safety for the masses.