Pubdate: Mon, 29 Dec 2003
Source: Sacramento Observer (CA)
Copyright: 2003 Sacramento Observer
Author: James Lanaras
Bookmark: (Cannabis - California)


Drivers Not Allowed To Watch Television Screens

California drivers face new vehicle laws that take effect on Jan.

The fine for seat belt violations will double to a maximum of $41. It
increases to a maximum of $106 for a second offense, depending on the
county, the California Highway Patrol said. The figures include court

Parents face misdemeanor charges if they knowingly supply alcohol to
anyone under age 21 who then drives and causes a traffic collision.

Drivers under age 17-and-a-half will have to complete a driver
education course before they can get an instruction permit. Currently
a 15-year-old may get a permit if he or she is already enrolled in an
instruction course. Drivers under age 18 must still have a licensed
adult driver present in their vehicle for the first six months on
their provisional driver's license.

Video screens have become a popular accessory in vehicle models during
the past few years. It is already illegal to drive a vehicle while
viewing a television broadcast on a screen forward of the driver's
seat. The new law closes a loophole in the law by prohibiting drivers
from watching DVDs while driving, even if drivers are watching old
episodes of CHiPs or COPS.

CHP public information officer Anne Da Vigo said there were 68
citations statewide for watching a forward television screen while
driving and 595 citations in 2001.

Many motorists are installing the screens on the dashboard and above
the rear-view mirror, Da Vigo said. Many vehicle models now include
video screens behind the driver.

Attention teachers: law enforcement officers on Jan. 1 will be
required to notify public and private schools when teachers are
arrested on suspicion of certain drug and sex crimes.

The bill, AB 608, was introduced after the April 2003 arrest of a
Buena Park teacher who was observed driving 100 mph and subsequently
seen throwing a bag of marijuana out the window during a police
pursuit. The CHP said the teacher had been arrested on similar charges
in 2001 but school officials didn't know it.

And vendors who sell cameras to cities and counties to catch red light
runners will no longer be paid on a per-ticket basis. Cities and
counties must assure that only red light citations reviewed and
approved by law enforcement are mailed to violators by vendors.

New laws requiring children in safety seats to ride in the rear seat
of a vehicle take effect on Jan. 1, 2005. The CHP wants to educate
drivers about the law and its exemptions before it takes effect.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake