News


New traffic safety laws for 2017 now in effect

New rules pertain to DUIs, cell phone use

The California Highway Patrol is reminding motorists of new traffic laws pertaining to cell phone use, driving under the influence and child safety that took effect New Year;s Day..

Drivers are no longer permitted to hold a cell phone or other wireless communications device. Rather than holding the device while driving, you're now required to mount it in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield furthest from you or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner closest to you, according to the CHP. Another option is to affix your phone to the dashboard in a place that does not interfere with airbag deployment or obstruct your view.

The law does allow a driver to operate one of these devices with a single swipe or tap of the finger, but not while holding it, according to the CHP.

Another law now in effect extends a DUI pilot program currently underway in Alameda County and other parts of the state. It requires a DUI offender to install an ignition interlock device on their car for a specified period of time in order to get a restricted or reinstated driver's license. It also removes the required suspension time before a person can get a restricted license, provided that the offender installs the device on their car.

The law extends the DUI ignition interlock device pilot program currently taking place in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties until Jan. 1, 2019, at which point all DUI offenders statewide will be required to install the device to have their license reinstated.

Laws pertaining to child safety on the roads also are now effect.

Every school will now be required to have a transportation safety plan with procedures to ensure that a student is not left unattended in a vehicle, according to the CHP. And children under 2 years old will now have to ride rear-facing in an appropriate child passenger safety seat, with those weighing 40 or more pounds or standing 40 or more inches tall exempt.

For complete information on bills enacted in 2016, visit the Legislative Counsel website.

Comments

11 people like this
Posted by Jeff
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 28, 2016 at 9:56 am

Dumb state cell phone law. Having the phone mounted essentially at the bottom of the windshield requires the driver to still look up from the phone to see traffic or obstacles in front of them. If someone is attempting to read a text message on their phone, they could easily miss a suddenly braking car. And why in the world would anyone mount their phone in the 7-inch square farthest from them? As in, the passenger-side lower corner? Who is going to actually do that?


8 people like this
Posted by Don
a resident of Ironwood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 9:56 am

I'll be interested in seeing how many drivers follow this new rule, since they have paid no attention to the previous laws regarding the use of a cell phone, while operating a vehicle. I find it a little puzzling when adults abuse the use of a cell phone while driving the car, especially with children in the car. Besides being dangerous, they are setting a bad example for the younger ones. If a person really needs to use their cell phone, pull over and stop the car, in a safe place.


11 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 10:37 am

Get the Facts is a registered user.

It doesn't matter, multiple studies have shown that talking while driving, whether it be with your phone in your hands or hands-free, increases distractedness and decreases safety. Here is a Mythbuster's study: Web Link

Bottom line, we should not be able to talk while driving, it decreases safety and increases accidents. This new law will not help, or at least not help as much as it should.


16 people like this
Posted by Diana
a resident of Kottinger Ranch
on Dec 28, 2016 at 11:15 am

Some people don't know how to drive! It doesn't matter that they have their cell phone in their hands or they left it at home!


12 people like this
Posted by FrequentWalkerMiles
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 11:58 am

I'm sure this will have as much effect as all those traffic laws out there. Judging by how many cars in my neighborhood have no front license plate or how many people still hold their phones to their ear while driving near the PD, this will just be another feel good law that gets ignored by....everyone.


17 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Valley Trails
on Dec 28, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Welcome to the left coast. More of the endless government laws and mandates that have no hope of enforcement or control.


10 people like this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm

Anyone looking at or doing anything on a cell phone while driving is a menace not only to themselves but to all the drivers nearby.......so stupid !!!


11 people like this
Posted by LKBuen
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 28, 2016 at 12:36 pm

I travel 2.2 hours to work in Livermore. Not one day goes by where I can actually see the head tilt down enough to know the truck driver, van driver,the commuter, the social driver, the mean drive that rides your tail no matter what lane; Well they want you to move over. Soccer moms maybe they don't really play soccer but wow they drive like mad men in their SUV's the old driver, the young driver are looking at their cell phone Ipad. I seen one woman driving in the middle lane using her mirror to brush her teeth while staying at 55mph. I watched a guy leaning over to passenger seat eating noodles, I see large Semi trucks take up 2 lanes on HWY 99 and 5 reading books, cell phones etc. I might add this truly slows them down not to mention you better move or you will be smooched, It has happened to me more than once and there is nothing I can do about it but stay alive and keep it going..The 580 Altamount they got some real trained drivers that are doing 80-85 and looking up and down. Then there is your morning commuter on 580 in the middle lane on the cell phone with a hoodie:)looking up then down doing about 50 mph without a care in the world. I have more but; I as a driver have learned if Im gonna stay alive on the roadways then I have to observe every driving move around me and be continously alert. you gotta have peripherals folks. So far so good. Do I get scared out of my mind sometimes at some of the drivers I see, you betcha. It is only gonna get worse. there should be no handheld holding or mounted phones ipads etc. Bluetooth is the only way to go as long you are not mad or angry. I've seen this too. quite funny to see, but not if someone gets killed. Hey BTW what about the bicylist and skate boarders I see this too they text and move too or the teenagers who with or without a phone jaywalk or take there time going through the crosswalk knowing you have to make a left turn. This is at 1st street. there is no chirping bird or a countdown. driver you just have to wait yes the light will be yellow:). So be careful out there no matter where you are at.


6 people like this
Posted by Driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:09 pm

The cell drivers who make me crazy are the much too cautious waiting at lights.....You know, the one who leave full bowling lane or BB curt in FRoNT of themselves....because they are looking DOWN entire time. several in every que....USING up VALUABLE SPACE, leading traffic to show ALL intersections are FULL..then people whine about traffic, probably the same
thoughtless, road HOGS leaving a car length in FRONT of themselves..SO Selfish. Cars in rear, over in next lane don't get to GO THRU ! It's mostly really dumb and incompetent drivers that have about 4 moves that
gridlock this town by blocking up intersections!!!


23 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

GtF, big fan of Mythbusters!

Should a driver talk to passengers? Should passengers be able to talk amongst themselves, but not to the driver? What about talk radio, music, sports coverage, audiobooks? Should we make all cars single passenger vehicles with no amenities so there's no distraction? Should we put any children in cars, especially those 2 and under in those rearfacing car seats who could choke on that bottle, and we'd never know? What about cars that play movies to entertain passengers? Should we get in a car with a hormonal teen who is likely to stand on our last nerve before we get to the destination? Should we let any teen drive, let alone in a car full of other teens?

I'm mostly being facetious, but California is the definition of nanny state. While I agree cell phones are an attractive nuisance for everyone from 6 mos. to 90 years, just how far are we willing to allow everything we do be legislated?


5 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 28, 2016 at 6:40 pm

Kathleen,

You have hit the nail on the head. We have so many laws against so many things the police cannot enforce them. Both my nephews are police officers in different cities and they are only enforcing some laws and not others. They have both said many of the laws are not enforceable and others out police at undue risk. Many state or maybe communist state.


9 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

"California is the definition of nanny state."

Deaths in California due to talking and driving have dropped 47% since the advent of talking and driving laws. Web Link

I hope we can all agree this is a good thing. 47% is a BIG number. If you want to call California a nanny state, that's fine with me. But give me a nanny state with good laws that protect me on the road, and good gun control laws that also save lives ( Web Link ), then fine, I will live in a nanny state and love every second of it.


12 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 28, 2016 at 10:47 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

GtF, I said I agreed cell phones are a distraction. I'm glad my phone integrates with my car. But, everything/everyone in a car is a distraction, and I most certainly don't want more of it legislated.


8 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

BobB is a registered user.

To all those who are saying these laws aren't ever going to be enforced, it may be true that it doesn't happen often, but I watched a guy get a talking on cell phone while driving ticket when I was walking on Vineyard avenue not long ago. It looked liked the officer was looking for speeders, but when a guy drove past with a cell phone to hid ear, the policeman pulled him over for that. I heard the conversation as I walked past.


3 people like this
Posted by Ennis
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Dec 29, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Web Link
In 2016 there were nearly 6,000 traffic related deaths in the U.S. due to distracted driving. I drive 22,000 miles per year with my commute. Everyday there are people unable to stay in their lanes, people driving 15-30 mph under the speed limit due to texting or talking on the phone with a hell of a lot of dangerous lane changing by people trying to get around the idiot- wonder why there are so many accidents every morning? Obviously a 'nanny state' is required due to the number of idiotic people on the road. I've been in one serious accident in my life and believe me, there is nothing more frightening than a car you can't stop or control. The problem won't be stopped until the ability of the driver to text is disabled as soon as the car is started-as it should be.


3 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2016 at 4:55 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

Ennis, I absolutely agree that texting should be disabled on motion. Not just driving, but I've seen cyclists texting, and I'm sure we've all seen people crossing the street, headphones in their ears, looking down at their phone. Whatever happened to "look both ways before you cross the street"? Too many people look only one way, down, at their phone.

I hate to say it again, but we need a "nanny state". This is why we have cops, firemen/women, health inspectors, code inspectors, etc. This is why areas are zoned for one thing or another. Had the owner and landlord of the Ghost Ship in Oakland not looked the other way, and the code inspectors done their job, then the lives of the people there would never have been lost.

There is a big push from the right, and from the tea partiers, to have less government, but the fact is we need more. We need government to save us from ourselves. It's sad but true.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 29, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

It's pathetic, actually. And it isn't a right or left issue. What happened to being responsible for our actions? I don't need someone sitting on my shoulder wherever I go.

The Oakland tragedy was the failure of government. Don't downplay how often agency mistakes, omissions, and over zealousness hurts people.


6 people like this
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 29, 2016 at 6:39 pm

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

GtF, you are a teacher who would fight losing tenure, who does not want a law that includes test scores of students or parent opinion in your evaluations. You can't say we need to be a nanny state and not see how you avoid it.


Like this comment
Posted by Michael Austin
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Dec 29, 2016 at 6:42 pm

Michael Austin is a registered user.

Safety starts in the home.
With this new nanny law. Everyone should discuss this new law
with family around the dinner table, to draw awareness to the
issue.

As time and money permits, equip every member of the family
with hands free technology. Be it after factory attached device or a new
car with hands free technology.


3 people like this
Posted by Get the Facts
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2016 at 10:32 pm

Get the Facts is a registered user.

"What happened to being responsible for our actions?"
I'd love to tell you that I'm super safe on the road, but I'm not. But I'm safer than most, and I do take responsibility for my actions. Unfortunately, others are less safe than me, and I don't want one of my kids being killed by someone who can't put their phone down. Bring on the laws that make our roads safer, and bring on self-driving cars.

"The Oakland tragedy was the failure of government"
Lots of blame to go around here: failure of government, failure of the owner, of the landlord, and the tenants. But if you think that it was a "failure of government", then aren't you making my point for me, that a nanny state would have/should have prevented this?

"GtF, you are a teacher..." I get where you're going here, but I think the comparison is incorrect. I am all for teachers being evaluated, and dismissed as needed. But I am against test scores being the judge of who gets to stay on the island. If educated professionals want to come evaluate me and my fellow educators, bring it on, but not test scores and parents. I don't think test scores and parent evaluations is the same as a nanny state, I don't think it's even close.

"Everyone should discuss this new law with family around the dinner table"
Yes, family discussions will definitely solve this problem, no law needed. I'm sure all the narcissistic people will be happy to sit around and discuss how they can do their part to solve this problem without any laws.

"equip every member of the family with hands free technology"
As stated before, "hands free" is not the problem. That is why it is now called "distracted driving". Web Link


3 people like this
Posted by Pete
a resident of Downtown
on Dec 30, 2016 at 8:29 am

My point is that we continue to make laws which are difficult or won't be enforced. This law just makes some politician feel better or get more votes. If there was a true interest in eliminating talking while driving just have the car manufacturers install a scrambling device in the ECU. Problem solved as calls and texts wouldn't work. But this is not about solving problems is it? It's about control.


5 people like this
Posted by good driver
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2016 at 10:01 am

Anyone involved in an accident needs to have their phone examined on the spot to determine if they were using it. If so, off to jail, period. Then the courts can decide how high the penalty needs to be.

I was rear ended by an idiot millenial who was texting while driving at freeway speed. I found out that in the state where it occurred, she would have huge penalties added to her insurance coverage for the rest of her life if I filed a lawsuit against her. I filed, I won, she pays for life and I have more than enough money to retire on. Until it hits them hard in their wallets these thoughtless and brainless idiots will keep on doing it.


Like this comment
Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Dec 30, 2016 at 10:46 am

Kathleen Ruegsegger is a registered user.

GtF, You missed my points I think. First, I agree with laws prohibiting cell phone use while driving. I do not agree with putting a phone in your windshield. Let's say you are hit late at night and spun off the road; the other driver leaves. You are injured and your phone is w a a a a a a a y over there in that 7" space. Hmmmmm.

Second, I appreciate good law--no murder, theft, etc. But not all law is good law; otherwise let's go back to who we can marry, what fountain we can use, and other past, yet legal, horrors. Remember, people are making these laws, and people can be really stupid some times.

Third, there seems to be selectiveness as to when a law is acceptable. "I am all for teachers being evaluated, and dismissed as needed. But I am against test scores being the judge of who gets to stay on the island. If educated professionals want to come evaluate me and my fellow educators, bring it on, but not test scores and parents." Most reviews include some input from stake holders, principals for example. So having students' disaggregated test data (where a specific weakness shows up in all students' learning) and parents (who work with their children on homework and see apparent gaps in the learning) should be included. Neither of those have to be a majority of the evaluation. You have said not all "educated professionals" take the time to evaluate properly (or find the process so daunting {and it is} they do little). A long way of getting back to the fact that many want better evaluation tools and input, but you see that as a non-starter. Selective choice of law.

Fourth, Oakland--the laws were already in place to prevent this loss of life. Government failed. We can rail about an unscrupulous landlord/owner, but let's not blame struggling artists (tenants) with no other options.


5 people like this
Posted by BobB
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2016 at 4:34 pm

BobB is a registered user.

Concerning "nanny state" laws, I was skeptical about seat belt laws when they were first passed, but now I think it is clear that they saved a lot of lives. People weren't being responsible 40 years, and needed nanny state laws, just as they need them today.


2 people like this
Posted by Always concerned
a resident of Stoneridge Orchards
on Jan 2, 2017 at 10:28 am

In my lifetime I've met only two people who treat others the way the want or hope to be treated in return. If we all could strive to accomplish this one, fair, non hypocritical,non vindictive, way of life, life itself would be a piece of cake. Think about it.


1 person likes this
Posted by Stella
a resident of Downtown
on Jan 2, 2017 at 8:39 pm

when are you going to have a law stating no dogs can ride on the drivers lap? I feel this is more dangerous then holding a cell phone..


Like this comment
Posted by Map
a resident of Del Prado
on Jan 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm

So certain posters are against a " nanny state " in one post then later on they say the government is entirely responsible for the Oakland warehouse fire! Can't have it both ways, those poor starving artists are going to have to take a big portion of the blame, they helped create and lived in that mess and should accept the blame along with the person that rented the building and the slum lord that owns the building. It was a terrible thing that happened with the failure of a lot of different people that caused this to happen


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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