By Mary O’KEEFE
Drivers will be seeing some new laws going into effect in 2011. Beginning Jan. 2, those under the age of 21 applying for a motorcycle license will be required to take an approved safety course before being issued an instruction permit.
The law requires the permit to be held for six months before a class M motorcycle driver license is issued.
A new law will bring court approved courses, such as online and home study traffic schools, into the Dept. of Motor Vehicles traffic violator school licensing program. Before Jan. 1, the DMV only licensed and regulated “brick and mortar” classroom traffic violator schools. This law will have a three year implementation process.
Those who drive permitted, fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles can continue to display stickers that allow them to legally drive in the high occupancy vehicle lane (HOV) with a single occupant. The law for these types of permitted vehicles was to expire Jan. 1, 2011 but has been extended to July 1.
Another new law exempts operators of firefighting vehicles from the Commercial Driver License program and creates a new license endorsement program.
A law going into effect on July 1, 2011 changes the language on the driver’s license application to have a definitive YES or NO choice to become an organ donor, in an effort to increase the number of organ donor enrollees.
As of July 1, local authorities may not enact or enforce any local ordinances on any matters covered by the California Vehicle Code.
Looking ahead, effective Jan. 1, 2012, a person convicted of a third or subsequent DUI violation will receive a court ordered 10 year revocation of their driver license.
To learn more about these new laws and their effects go to the California DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/newsrel10/2010.