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DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2016 Laws

12/30/2015, 9:13 p.m.
With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public ...

Sacramento, CA - With the New Year just around the corner, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to inform the public of several new laws or changes to existing law that, unless otherwise noted, take effect on January 1, 2016. The following are summaries of some transportation-related laws coming into effect.

Driving Under the Influence (SB 61, Hill): This law extends the existing Ignition Interlock Device (IID) pilot project to July 1, 2017 for, Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare counties. The IID pilot project requires a person convicted of a DUI to install an IID for five months upon a first offense, 12 months for a second offense, 24 months for a third offense, and 36 months for a fourth or subsequent offense. The project was originally set to end on January 1, 2016.

Traffic Amnesty (SB 405, Hertzberg): Among other things, this law amends the criteria for a person to be eligible for the traffic citation amnesty program. The traffic amnesty program was approved through the 2015/16 Budget Act. A person is eligible for the traffic amnesty program if he or she has not made any payments after September 30, 2015, to a collection program for fines or bail already due. The law also indicates that payment of bail, fines, penalties, fees, or a civil assessment is not required in order for the court to remove the civil assessment of up to $300 against any defendant who fails, after notice and without good cause, to appear in court.

Earbuds or Headsets (SB 491, Transportation Committee): This law, among other things, makes it unlawful to wear a headset covering, earplugs in, or earphones covering, resting on, or inserted in, both ears, while operating a motor vehicle or a bicycle. This prohibition does not apply to persons operating authorized emergency vehicles, construction equipment and refuse or waste equipment while wearing a headset or safety earplugs.

Pedal-Powered Vehicles (SB 530, Pan): This law expands the definition of pedicab to include a four-wheeled device that is pedal-powered, has a seating capacity for eight or more passengers, cannot travel in excess of 15 miles per hour, and is being used for transporting passengers for hire. This law sets requirements related to local authorization, operator qualifications and training, financial responsibility, accident reporting, safety equipment, and inspections. The law establishes rules and standards for pedicabs that allow passengers to consume alcohol on board, if authorized by local ordinance or resolution

Consumer Protection - Starter Interrupt Warning (AB 265, Holden): This law requires a “buy-here-pay-here” dealer to make certain disclosures and notices to a vehicle buyer when a vehicle is sold with tracking and starter interrupt technology installed. This law also requires advance warning be given to the purchaser prior to engagement of the starter interrupt technology, if the buyer fails to make timely vehicle payments. A “buy-here-pay-here” dealer is defined as a used car dealer that assigns less than 90 percent of their conditional sales and lease contracts to third party lenders; and therefore provide direct financing to car buyers.