NEW AUTO LAWS FOR 2008

False Registration Consequence: A new law allows peace officers to tow a vehicle that displays false registration, false license plates or fraudulent registration. The old law allowed officers to cite and tow cars with registration that was expired by more than six months. (example: putting current registration stickers from one car onto another car until you get the time to get the correct registration).

New Smoking Restriction: California drivers will no longer be allowed to smoke in the presence of children under a new state law that took effect Tuesday. Drivers who are stopped for a traffic violation and found to be smoking in a vehicle where anyone under the age of 17 is a passenger will face a $100 fine.

No Tricky Devices: Starting Tuesday, it is illegal to use or sell a product that impairs the reading of a license plate by electronic devices, such as red-light cameras and toll booth cameras. The fine for obscuring a plate is $146, and the fine for selling such a product is $900.

Slow Down: Drivers should also be prepared to slow down near schools. AB 321 now allows local jurisdictions to establish a speed limit of 15 mph within 500 feet of a school.

Bikers, Light Up: Bikers riding during darkness must use lights and reflectors while riding on highways, sidewalks or bikeways.

Segway Safety: It is also illegal to operate an electric personal assistant mobility device, such as a Segway, at an unsafe speed for conditions, in a reckless manner or a speed that endangers the safety of others.

Hands-Free In July: Later in the year, a state law goes into effect prohibiting drivers from using cell phones and other mobile devices, unless they are equipped with a hands-free speaking and listening system.

No Cellular Phones for Under 18: That goes into effect on July 1. And at the same time, drivers under the age of 18 will not be allowed to use a wireless telephone or other mobile service device, even if it's hands-free, while operating a vehicle.
 
   

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