For 2010, we have new laws going into effect that surely reflect the times in which we are living:

This first example is a doozy as who in their right mind would watch television and drive concurrently, especially if the driver was enjoying California State Route 1:

Television Broadcast or Video Signal:  Drive a motor vehicle with a television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a television broadcast or video signal if the equipment is designed, operated and configured in a manner that prevents the driver of the motor vehicle from viewing the television broadcast or video signal while operating the vehicle in a safe and reasonable manner.

This second one is just a no-brainer:  DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE and you won’t have to worry about it:

Driving Under the Influence:  Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to advise second and third time misdemeanor DUI offenders of the following options: obtain a restricted driver’s license that would allow driving after serving a 90-day suspension period for a second conviction of misdemeanor DUI, or a six month suspension period for a third conviction of misdemeanor DUI if the violation only involves alcohol. The offender must enroll in a DUI program and the offender must install and maintain an IID in their vehicle.

These third and fourth new laws are concerning as it’s just common sense to slow for any emergency or maintenance vehicle on the highway, why must it be now a law? Are drivers THAT dangerous to our highway and emergency workers?

Move Over/Slow Down:  Sections 21809 VC and 25253 VC. Section 21809 VC requires a person driving a vehicle on a freeway and approaching in a lane immediately adjacent to a stationary, authorized emergency vehicle that displays emergency lights, or a stationary tow truck that displays flashing amber warning lights, to safely make a lane change from that lane, or slow to a reasonable speed. Section 25253 VC requires tow trucks used to tow disabled vehicles to be equipped with flashing amber warning lamps and authorizes tow trucks to display flashing amber warning lamps while providing service to a disabled vehicle. However, this section prohibits tow trucks from displaying flashing amber warning lamps on a freeway except when an unusual traffic hazard or extreme hazard exists. Department of Transportation Vehicles (Move Over, Slow Down Law) requires a person who is driving a vehicle on a freeway and approaching in a lane immediately adjacent to a stationary, authorized emergency vehicle that displays emergency lights, or a stationary tow truck that displays flashing amber warning lights, to safely make a lane change from that lane, or slow to a reasonable speed. This new law adds a stationary, marked Caltrans vehicle displaying flashing amber warning lights to the “Move Over, Slow Down Law.”

Crimes Against Highway Workers:  Assault and Battery amends section 2415 and 243.65 of the penal code to expand the definition of a highway worker to include employees of a city or county who perform specified activities related to local streets and roads. Additionally this new law includes in the definition of a highway worker, employees of a contractor while working under contract with Caltrans, contractors and employees of contractors while working under contract with a city or county and volunteers.

Note:  Personal Liability Immunity that a Good Samaritan who renders medical or non-medical care at the scene of an emergency would not be liable for any civil damages.

KION Source.

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