With a new year comes new laws. Many of those passed in California have a direct impact on motorists. Two of the most recent pieces of legislature concern limousine drivers and their passengers, as well as undocumented U.S. residents who want to drive. It is important to be aware of these laws and what they might mean for you and your family while you travel the roads during 2015.
Limousines Subjected to Yearly Inspections
In 2013, a limousine carrying nine women was crossing the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge when it caught on fire. The smoke and fire prevented the women from reaching the limo's rear doors, leaving them with just one exit between the passenger area and the driver's compartment. Five women were killed as a result.
This incident led officials to rethink current limousine standards. The new law, which must be implemented by July 1, 2016, requires all modified limousines to pass a safety inspection once every 13 months. These limos must also carry two operable fire extinguishers and passengers will be notified of the safety features of the vehicle.
A modified limousine, according to the legislature, is any limo that has been “altered or extended in a manner that increases the wheelbase of the vehicle” to allow for additional passengers.
Thousands of Undocumented Immigrants Flood the DMV
Just after the New Year, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) opened up eligibility for undocumented U.S. residents to apply for a driver's license, specifically an AB 60 license. Applicants are required to show proof of identity and California residency, as well as meet any other criteria.
Lawmakers hope that this new opportunity for U.S. immigrants will increase safety on the roads and supply drivers with the training they need. Those who receive an AB 60 license are required to know California's traffic laws, pass the driving test, and have insurance.
Both laws were passed with motorist safety in mind and are intended to improve conditions on the road for California drivers. Contact the firm today to protect your rights as a motorist!