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2016 Legislative Update

The New Year is here!! Along with the new calendar year come all the new traffic laws our State Legislature has been working on in 2015. Hundreds of laws are passed each year in California and the specifics of each and every law can be found at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes.xhtml. In 2015 many of the laws passed were mundane and affect very few citizens. I’ve picked a few here that will affect many people or have a special interest to Murrieta Valley residents. I’ve included the Assembly Bill (AB) or Senate Bill (SB) number along with the name of your elected individual that sponsored the bill.

SB 61 Hill - Extends the existing ignition interlock device pilot program until July 1, 2017. Prior legislation created an ignition interlock device pilot project in four counties (Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare) which mandates the use of an ignition interlock device for all driving under the influence offenders. This program may go statewide after July 1, 2017 if found to reduce recidivism with respect to DUI driving.

AB 1465 Gordon - Provides that an applicant for an original driver's license or identification card must provide satisfactory proof of state residency.

AB 192 Travis Allen - Authorizes fees collected for the Pet Lover’s Specialized License Plate to be appropriated by the Legislature to the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) for allocation to a nonprofit organization the VMB selects for disbursal to qualifying spay and neuter facilities for the sole and exclusive purpose of funding grants to providers of no-cost or low-cost animal sterilization services.

AB 208 Bigelow - Clarifies the existing requirement that slow-moving vehicles, including bicycles, turn off of a roadway when safe to do so when five or more vehicles are behind them in order to allow the faster-moving traffic to proceed. I know anyone that drives the Ortega Highway appreciates this clarification, and I’m sure will be looking for any enforcement efforts from CHP.

AB 604 Olsen - Creates a new definition for an electrically motorized board, which “generally” is a four-wheeled device designed to be stood upon that is not longer than five feet and wider than 18 inches. Electric boards may be equipped with an electric propulsion system with less than 1000 watts (1.34 horsepower) and capable of a maximum speed of 20mph on a level surface. Electric boards can only be operated by persons age 16 or older and the user must wear a bike helmet. Boards can be operated up to a speed of 15mph on sidewalks, paths, trails and highways with a speed limits of 35mph or less, unless the board is operated entirely within a Class 2 (striped bike lane) or Class 4 (physically separated lane) bikeway. Local governments and other agencies can promulgate regulations restricting use. At this point no cities in the Murrieta/Temecula Valley have enacted any ordinances further restricting the use of these boards. Based on the speed and horsepower of toy hover boards a lot of kids received for Christmas, this new law would not apply. If a hover board is powerful enough or fast enough to meet this new laws threshold, then this law would apply to the hover board.

AB 53 Garcia - Requires a parent, legal guardian, or the driver of a motor vehicle to properly secure a child who is under 2 years of age in an appropriate rear-facing child passenger restraint system, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches in height.


SB 491 Committee on Transportation and Housing Chapter 451 made several minor modifications to the Vehicle Code:

•Increases the threshold for reporting an accident with property damage to the DMV from $750 to $1,000. Drivers must also report any accident where there is an injury. Effective: January 1, 2017.

•Prohibits a motor carrier from allowing a driver of a commercial vehicle to operate a commercial vehicle unless the driver can, by reason of training or experience, demonstrate that the cargo being transported is
properly secured.

•Prohibits attaching a lighted flare to any part of a vehicle.

•Requires the flooring in all motor vehicles to be constructed free of unnecessary holes or openings and maintained so as to minimize the entrance of fumes, exhaust gases, or fire.

•Prohibits the wearing of earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in both ears when operating a motor vehicle or bicycle.

There you have it!! Love them or hate them, these are some of the more interesting new traffic laws that may affect all of us this coming new year.

The Murrieta Police Department wishes you and your families a very safe and happy New Year. We appreciate all the support our community gives us throughout the year. This is an awesome community that was just named by MSN as the second safest city in America with populations over 100,000. I’ll cover that in next month’s article. We enjoy living here and consider it an honor to serve the citizens of Murrieta in our chosen profession of Law Enforcement. I welcome your questions and suggestions for future articles and can be contacted directly at the Murrieta Police Department at 951-461-6302 or jfroboese@murrieta.org.
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