New Law for California Motorists in 2016
Back in January, California drivers got a fresh batch of laws to obey. Contrary to what you might think, however, not all of them are about "limiting freedom".
Until this new set of laws took effect, electric skateboards were technically banned from all public roads. That's all changed now, and starting on January 1, 2016, they were allowed on not just public roads but sidewalks as well.
New Laws for Electric Skateboards & Bikes
The DMV is recognizing that alternative modes of transportation should be accommodated on our roads. However, safety comes first because although they're popular, electric skateboards and bikes do come with risks.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has passed the following laws, which took effect this year:
- You must be 16 years old
- You must wear a helmet
- There is a 15 mph speed limit
- You may not ride on roads where the speed limit is more than 35 mph
- At night, you must have lights & reflectors on the front, back and sides
New Laws About Earbuds & Headsets
Another law: You may not cover both of your ears with earbuds or a headset (just one). You can't even have them hanging on your ear. The safety issue here is that you will not be able to hear what's going on around you, and you won't be able to react appropriately (to sirens, for example) when you need to.
New Motor Voter Law
The so-called "Motor Voter" Law allows you to register to vote electronically when you renew or apply for a driver license or vehicle registration.
New "Slow-Driver" Law
Now there's a law against blocking traffic by driving too slowly! If you are on a two-lane highway and you are driving too slowly, you need to pull over and let everyone go by if traffic is backed up behind you.
New Law for Party Bikes ("Beer Bikes")
Finally, this is really one for the books: so-called "beer bikes" are now regulated as pedicabs, which allow people to pedal from bar to bar while consuming alcohol.
In case you didn't know, beer bikes are four-wheeled bicycles for eight or more people pedaling together. They don't go more than 15 miles per hour and they are used to transport passengers for hire.
There are several other new laws on record for this year, but none as ground-breaking and impactful as these.
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- DMV Reminds Motorists of New 2016 Laws. California Department of Motor Vehicles. Retrieved 6/29/2016 from https://dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/newsrel/newsrel15/2015_65
- DMV Explains New Laws. California DMV. Retrieved 6/29/2016 from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q4Lx6WsikE