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New California Laws For 2015

New California Laws

Did you ever stop to wonder how driving laws may impact your ability to get around safely? A lot of people are surprised when they realize that the driving laws that went into effect on January 1st, 2015 in the state of California do exactly that. At Da-Les Auto Body, our commitment to our clients doesn’t begin and end with car repair. We believe keeping you informed about what’s going on in the legal arena is just as important as choosing the right parts to keep your car running the way it’s supposed to. With that in mind, here are some new California driving laws on the books for 2015 that you need to know about!

Immigration Reform-Based Laws

AB-60: Undocumented Immigrant Drivers’ Licenses

As of January 2nd, undocumented or illegal immigrants could legally obtain California drivers’ licenses. This abolishes a prior ban on immigrants who previously could not establish residency in the state of California because of lack of proper immigration documentation.

The pros: This law permits people who would otherwise face arrest and/or deportation if stopped simply for going to work, the grocery store or the hospital to obtain legal drivers’ licenses, thereby increasing the number of law-abiding California drivers. It also ensures that drivers in the state, regardless of legal status or right to be in this country, are tested for competence behind the wheel and in compliance with state insurance requirements.

The cons: Opponents of the law say AB-60 serves as a reward for otherwise illegally present immigrants. They also suggest undocumented immigrants may not be as familiar with California state driving laws as they need to be to ensure safety on the roadways.

AB-1660: Discrimination Against Holders of AB-60 Drivers’ Licenses Prohibited

As long as AB-60 applicants have the necessary documentation ready to present at the time of their DMV appointment, drivers cannot be discriminated against based on AB-60 status.

The pros: This provision follows federal law, including Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its proceeding amendments. So long as the applicants are in compliance with the requirements of AB-60, they cannot be prohibited from obtaining a legal California driver’s license.

The cons: As with AB-60, critics of the law are concerned about the idea of rewarding unlawful behavior with legitimate or quasi-legitimate driving privileges.

AB-2308: Eligible Offenders to Receive Drivers’ Licenses Upon Release From Incarceration

This law is intended to help ease offender transition back into society by affording eligible offenders drivers’ licenses and other services as part of their release and rehabilitation. Eligible offenders include those with prior California IDs or drivers’ licenses.

Pros: Champions of this law say it will help decrease recidivism by providing broader access to employment, transportation and other necessary services for offenders who have served their time. Inability to obtain gainful employment after incarceration is cited as one of the chief reasons for recidivism, and having a driver’s license or valid ID is essential to getting a job.

Cons: Opponents cite concerns about the mental health and stability of released offenders behind the wheel. They are also uneasy about the idea that traffic laws may have changed dramatically since the offender was incarcerated, and that offenders may not be aware of new laws or safety requirements.

California enacted some 900 laws during the past year, most of which were slated to take effect January 1st, although many will not take effect until July 1st. There are almost certainly more driving-related rules than the ones detailed here, but these are certainly the ones getting the most attention in the media.

Of course, the questions these new laws raise are better suited to the political arena, but it makes a great time to ask: Have you ever considered who’s sharing the road with you? Do you practice defensive driving techniques, or rely on the other guy to pay attention to the road? Many drivers find themselves getting complacent after years of experience and avoiding accidents, and complacency can be a very dangerous thing on the road. Take a second and consider how your driving style might be influenced or affected by these new driving laws.

It may sound odd, but we at Da-Les would rather have our clients leave and arrive safely than get into an accident. That’s right: We’d rather you didn’t need our services! Unfortunately, just because you’re a safe and conscientious driver doesn’t automatically mean the other guy is. Driving today, especially with higher speed limits, more traffic and more inexperienced drivers taking to the streets than ever, is always a risky proposition.

However, if you do need us, we’ll be here just like we have for nearly 40 years, offering you the great service, quality and value that has made our name a by-word for auto repair in the Sunnyvale area since 1976. We’ll work with you and your insurance to make sure your vehicle is repaired as quickly as possible to like-new condition and get you back on the road. The hallmark of a great repair job is not being able to tell it ever had to happen! For more information on new California driving laws, to get a comprehensive safety inspection on your vehicle, or for any repair needs you might have, visit us at 728 San Aleso Drive in Sunnyvale; call us at 408-457-0045; or visit our home page to start an estimate today!

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