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A slew of new traffic laws aimed at tackling cell phone use while driving, smoking in cars with minors and other vehicle-related infractions is taking affect in California.
On Jan. 1, 2008, the following laws went into effect, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Department:
- It is against the law to place a border, case, shield or any device or spray on product on your license plate that impairs it to be recognized or read by a toll road device or red light camera.
- It is against the law to operate a bicycle without lights during darkness, even on a sidewalk or bike path.
- It is against the law to smoke in a motor vehicle when a minor is present. This law applies even if the vehicle is parked.
And on July 1, 2008, the following rules aimed at curbing dangerous cell phone use while driving will become law:
- It will be against the law for a person to use a wireless (cellular) telephone while operating a motor vehicle. Wireless telephones must be configured to allow hands-free listening and talking.
- It will be against the law for a person under the age of 18 to use a wireless telephone while operating a motor vehicle regardless if it is hands-free or not.
According to the Sheriff’s Department, approximately 100 people died in the state last year in accidents related to using cell phones. And cell phones were found to be a factor in approximately 3,300 collisions that resulted in serious injury.