By Chris Blume
To all motorists out there, the New Year brought with it a couple of additions to current traffic laws. Perhaps we should start with a no-brainer; there is a law already on the books that prevents drivers from watching television while driving. Apparently, though, some drivers found a loophole, since the legislature found it necessary to strengthen the wording of the law. Now there may be no video screens visible to the driver with the exception of GPS, car monitoring displays, and driving assistive monitors.
The Slow Down, Move Over law has been amended to include stationary Caltrans vehicles with lights flashing. This means that when a motorist sees a stationary emergency vehicle, a tow truck, or a Caltrans vehicle in a lane immediately adjacent with lights flashing, the motorist must either slow down to a safe speed or move over to another lane.
There is one new law that will come into effect on July 1, which will start pilot programs in various counties including Los Angeles that will allow judges and the DMV to require first time DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. This device would prevent drivers from starting their engines without first passing a breathalyzer test installed in their car.