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New Year New Laws

Sacramento, CA — New laws regarding bicycles, hit and runs and search warrants will go into effect in next year.

The California Highway Patrol wants to remind motorists of several new laws or changes to existing law that may impact them in 2014. In a CHP press release these laws are highlighted:


AMBER Alert: Expansion (AB 535, Quirk): This law requires law enforcement to request activation of the AMBER Alerts after receiving a report that a child has been abducted by anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child.


Bicycles: Passing Distance (AB 1371, Bradford): This law prohibits motorists from passing a bicycle with less than three feet between any part of the vehicle and any part of the bicycle or driver. When three feet is not possible, the motor vehicle must slow to a reasonable and prudent speed and only pass when no danger is present to the bicyclist. Failing to do so can incur a fine, regardless of a collision or not. This law will go into effect September 16, 2014.


Hit and Run: Statute of Limitations (AB 184, Gatto): This law extends the statute of limitations for hit-and-run collisions in which death or permanent, serious injury was a result. A criminal complaint may be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the commission of the offense, which ever comes later, but in no case more than six years after the offense.


Search Warrants: Chemical Tests (SB 717, DeSaulnier): This amendment to current law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person in a reasonable, medically approved manner, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provisions when that person has refused an officer’s request to submit to, or has failed to complete, a blood test. This law has been operative since September 20, 2013.


Teen Drivers (SB 194, Galgiani): This law prohibits a person who is under 18 years of age from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it is equipped with a hands-free device.


If a date is not stated these laws go into effect on January I, 2014.