by Thomas Zizzo
As of January 1, 2012, California’s new Child Safety Seat Law goes into effect. The new law requires parents to keep children properly buckled into a car seat or booster in the back seat until the age of eight. The old law stated that a child who is ‘6 years or 60 pounds’ needed to be in a safety seat.
A driver can be fined more than $475 and get a point on their driving record for each child under 16 years of age who is not properly secured in their vehicle.
Children age eight or older may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on their hips, touching the upper thighs, and with the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If a child is not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a car seat or booster seat.
Vehicles are now explicitly forbidden from crossing double parallel solid white lines, commonly found in carpool lanes on highways.
A new adjustment to sobriety checkpoint regulations now prevents authorities from impounding vehicles at checkpoints when the driver’s only offense is failing to hold a driver’s license. The new law requires that the officer make a reasonable attempt to notify the registered owner in order to release the vehicle.
Repeat offenders can have their driver’s license suspended for 10 years if they have been convicted of at least three DUIs.
Electric vehicles must be plugged in for recharging when parking in an EV-designated space, otherwise they may be towed. In addition, the law prohibits a person from obstructing, blocking, or otherwise barring access to an EV-designated parking space.
Anyone who is convicted of reckless driving under Section 23103.5 of the vehicle code can apply for a restricted driver license prior to the completion of their one-year suspension, provided they meet specified conditions, including the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle.