California lawmakers have passed new laws that will be taking effect in either January or July of 2010.  All of the laws are designed to prevent car accidents because of either drunk driving, vehicles on the side of the road and various other reasons.

Our car accident lawyers support any laws that can potentially prevent car accidents.  Car accidents cause thousands of injuries and wrongful deaths every year, and any methods to prevent them should be taken.  A car accident can change the life of a person and their entire family if the car crash is bad enough.  Hopefully, the DUI laws in place — along with the laws that protect people working on the roads — will help keep car accidents from happening.

Here are brief descriptions of each new law provided by the California Highway Patrol:

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID) (AB 91, Feuer)

This new law starts on July 1, and sets up pilot programs in Alameda, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Tulare counties from July 1, 2010 to January 1, 2016.  The program requires people who are convicted of a DUI to have an IID installed in their vehicle.  This new law includes motorcycles.

Driving Under the Influence (SB 598, Huff)

This new law requires the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to advise second and third time misdemeanor DUI offenders with one the following options: obtain a restricted driver’s license allowing driving after serving a 90-day suspension (2nd conviction) or a six-month suspension period (3rd conviction).  The offender must also enroll in a DUI program and install an IID in their car.

Move Over/Slow Down (SB 159, Simitian)

A person driving on a freeway approaching a stationary vehicle that displays emergency lights, or a stationary tow truck must make a safe lane change from the same lane that vehicle is in or slow to a reasonable speed.  Another law (Department of Transportation Vehicles SB 240 Wright), amends this law by adding stationary, marked Caltrans vehicles.

Television Broadcast or Video Signal (AB 62 Portantino)

Television receivers, televisions, video monitors or any other similar means of getting a television broadcast video signal are allowed if the equipment is designed, operated and configured in a way that prevents it from distracting the driver.

Personal Liability Immunity (AB 83, Feuer)

A Good Samaritan who gives medical or non-medical car at an emergency scene will not be held accountable for any civil damages as a result of this new law.

Charter Party Carriers (AB 636, Jones)

This new law requires the Public Utilities Commission to revoke a charter party carrier’s (CPC) authority to operate or permanently prevent getting a certificate.  If that carrier operates a bus with a suspended permit, the CPC will not be allowed to get a new one.  Drivers of buses in violation of this law can have their privaleges revoked and buses can be impounded for 30 days.

Toll Evasion Violations (AB 628, Block)

This law permits vehicular crossings and toll highways in California to use a pay-by-plate toll system where drivers are identified by their license plate and billed or deducted from a specific account linked by their plate.

Bicycles (SB, 527 Kehoe)

Essentially, this law says a person can ride a bicycle without a seat if the bicycle was designed by the manufacturer to be ridden that way.

Please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney — we speak both English and Spanish — at (800) 655-6585.  Click here and you may also submit your case for a Free Review.  No fee if no recovery.