The Automobile Club of Southern California’s January issue of Westways Magazine has a list of new traffic laws that take effect January 1, 2008. (The online magazine for January is not posted yet so check back later.)
They begin with a reminder that all cellphones must be used with a handsfree device starting JULY 1, 2008. So use those holiday gift cards to buy your blue tooth head gear in preparation.
Starting January 1:
• You cannot use any product that blocks your license plate from being read by any kind of electronic traffic device.
• You cannot smoke in a car if there are children in the car, whether you are driving or parked.
• If you commit a two point violation (DUI, hit and run, speed contests, evading an officer, etc) you cannot go to traffic school and have it cleared off your record.
• Depending on local jurisdictions, school zones can be changed to 15mph up to 500 feet from school when children are present. No matter the speed limit is, just make it a habit to drive slowly and carefully around schools.
• For new vehicles sold or leased on or after 1/1/08, automakers MUST provide the key codes to a registered locksmith if you lose your keys and need to have new ones made. (BMW and Mercedes make their own and they must send you replacement keys overnight.)
Also starting July 1: Teens under 18 are prohibited from using any cell phone or “mobile-service device” while driving. That term refers to laptops, pagers, texting devices, etc.)