A new year is under way and many people throughout Orange County are undoubtedly trying to implement any resolutions that they may have made for 2016. While not everyone can live up to their New Year's resolutions, January 1 also means other kinds of changes for people in California. With regard to the state's traffic laws, a number of changes have gone into effect for 2016.
One new state law establishes an alert system for hit-and-run accidents. When a hit-and-run occurs and it results in serious injuries or death, the California Highway Patrol will work with local law enforcement agencies to activate a Yellow Alert notification that will disseminate any available information about the hit-and-run driver and their vehicle.
Another law effective in 2016 prohibits people in any motor vehicle from wearing earphones in both ears while they drive. The new law expands upon existing laws that targeted ear plugs and head sets. Like those laws, this law is likely aimed at curbing distracted driving, which can easily happen if the driver's senses are not fully engaged on the task of driving.
In addition to those laws and some others, slower moving cars and other vehicles will also be affected by a new law for 2016. The law provides that if five or more vehicles are stacked up behind the slower moving vehicle, that slower moving car or other vehicle must let the others pass at the next available point.
Auto accidents are a problem in every state in the country, but perhaps California's new laws will help to decrease the number of accidents in the state. However, even the most recent laws will not stop all people from driving in a way that endangers themselves and others on the roadways. Anytime a driver's negligence leads to an accident, regardless of the particular law that the driver may have violated, injured victims can pursue legal action against that negligent driver.
Source: KTLA 5, "New 2016 Traffic-Related Laws Slated to Take Effect in California on Jan. 1," Tracy Bloom, Dec. 27, 2015