Several new California laws are going into effect in 2013, including setting state standards on the use of red-light cameras, being able to park free at locations where meters are broken, and creating rules for testing driverless cars.

  • Assembly Bill 2020 says a person arrested on suspicion of DUI will no longer be given the option of a urine test. In previous years, the option was given of either a urine test or a blood test.

  • Senate Bill 1298 establishes conditions for the testing and operation of "autonomous vehicles," which can operate without the active control and continuous monitoring of a human driver. The law calls on the DMV to develop regulations governing the operation of these vehicles on state roads before 2015 and will require a licensed driver to be behind the wheel.

  • Senate Bill 1388 allows motorists to park at broken meters up to the posted time limit without fear of getting a ticket unless the local jurisdiction provides visible and adequate notice of any prohibitions at parking locations.

  • Assembly Bill 1536 allows drivers to dictate, send or listen to text-based communications while driving as long as they do so using technology specifically designed and configured to allow fully voice-operated, hands-free operation.

  • Assembly Bill 2189 allows a car rental company to verify a renter's identity by comparing the driver's license photo to the driver renting the vehicle.


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  • Assembly Bill 2489 prohibits a person from operating a vehicle with a product or device that obscures -- or is intended to obscure -- the reading or recognition of a license plate by sight or use of an electronic device (like a toll or red-light camera). The new law also prohibits a person from erasing, painting over or altering a license plate to avoid visual or electronic capture of the license plate or its characters.

  • Senate Bill 1303 establishes statewide standards for red-light cameras. It requires camera locations be based solely on safety considerations; prohibits the use of red-light cameras to raise revenue; requires cities and counties to follow state standards in the placement and operation of cameras; and requires adequate signs to notify drivers when red-light cameras are in use. It also prohibits so-called "snitch tickets" (i.e., an innocent ticket recipient may not be required to identify another driver in order to clear an inaccurate ticket).

  • Assembly Bill 45 requires that bus and limousine drivers be held responsible for telling all underage passengers that drinking alcohol is illegal. If alcohol is being transported in a bus or limousine with underage passengers on board, a person at least 25 years old must be on board to ensure there is no underage consumption.

  • Assembly Bill 1708 says drivers will have the right to show proof of insurance on a smartphone or tablet when pulled over.

  • Senate Bill 1047: CHP will begin a Silver Alert system similar to Amber Alert, but for missing people older than 65.

    Sources: DMV, AAA