Motorists Need to Heed New Laws for 2018

The new year is less than ten days away, and with it will come a number of new laws that will affect drivers.

Uber and Lyft disqualify drivers with more than three tickets or "at-fault" accidents -- or one serious safety citation -- in the past five years. 

Now, it seems lawmakers want them to be even more clearer-headed.

Assembly Bill 2687, effective July 1st, makes it illegal to drive with a blood alcohol level of .04 when driving a "passenger for hire."

The standard level of offense is point 0.08.

Convictions will get a driver's license suspended.

Commercial license holders will be disqualified.

Under AB 503, motorists with low incomes who have unpaid parking tickets can pay the penalties before the violations are reported to the DMV.

Registered owners can file for "planned non-operation" status when penalties are on the vehicle's record.

The law also has a procedure for someone with outstanding parking fees to renew a license.

Under AB 544, a new decal program will let certain low-emission vehicles travel in HOV lanes, no matter how many people are inside the vehicles, for four years.

Owners of vehicles issued green or white decals this year or next year can re-apply for a new decal for HOV lanes until January 1st, 2022.

Senate Bill 20 requires passengers on buses with seat belts to use them -- and, for children over 8 and under 16 who are on buses to be in seat restraints that meet federal safety standards.

SB 65 bans smoking or ingesting marijuana or cannabis products while driving or riding in a vehicle.

"Negligent operator" point counts will be assigned for violations.

Also waiting down the road on January 1st is Senate Bill 1.

When registering or renewing a vehicle's registration, owners will be charged a "transportation improvement fee" for road maintenance.

For vehicles valued up to $4,999, the fee will be $25; for those valued at $60,000 and over, $175.

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