New traffic safety laws take effect Sunday

2017 brings new rules pertaining to DUIs, cellphone use

The California Highway Patrol is reminding motorists of new traffic laws pertaining to cell phone use, driving under the influence and child safety that took effect when the calendar turned to 2017 this weekend.

Beginning Sunday, drivers are now no longer be permitted to hold a cellphone or other wireless communications device.

Rather than holding the device while driving, you'll be required to mount it in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield furthest from you or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner closest to you, according to the CHP. Another option is to affix your phone to the dashboard in a place that does not interfere with airbag deployment or obstruct your view.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it, according to the CHP.

Another law that took effect Sunday extends a DUI pilot program currently underway in Alameda County and other parts of the state.

It requires a DUI offender to install an ignition interlock device on their car for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted or reinstated driver's license. It also removes the required suspension time before a person can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs the device on their car.

The law extends the DUI ignition interlock device pilot program currently taking place in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties until Jan. 1, 2019, at which point all DUI offenders statewide will be required to install the device to have their license reinstated.

Laws pertaining to child safety on the roads also took effect Sunday.

Every school will now be required to have a transportation safety plan with procedures to ensure that a student is not left unattended in a vehicle, according to the CHP. And children under 2 years old will now have to ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat, with those weighing 40 or more pounds or standing 40 or more inches tall exempt.

For complete information on bills enacted in 2016, visit the Legislative Counsel website.

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34 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Alamo
on Dec 30, 2016 at 6:09 am

I can't begin to tell you how many police officers I see driving holding a cell phone or talking on their phone while driving. I know they are not held to this law but I find it to be complete bull____! They are to be setting the example, but instead we live in a society that says do as I say not as I do. Many times over we have learned that raising our children in such a fashion does not work. I don't know why we continue to make the same mistakes in society and expect different results.

Like this comment
Posted by Pedal Power
a resident of Danville
on Dec 31, 2016 at 11:43 am

My personal pet peeve is unadvertised lane changes - turn signal usage by most law enforcement vehicles being the exception rather than the rule.

Like this comment
Posted by JW
a resident of Alamo
on Jan 4, 2017 at 12:58 pm

They don't enforce the existing laws.....why should we believe they'll enforce new laws? Feel good stuff.....that's all.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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