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The tax code isn’t the only piece of government legislation that went into effect with the change of the calendar to 2013. Californians are waking up to a handful of new driving laws, some that could produce significant changes to the way we approach the road.

So here is a quick rundown of the new California driving laws for 2013.

AB 45. Bus and limousine drivers are responsible for telling all underage passengers that drinking alcohol is against the law. If alcohol is transported in a bus or limo with underage passengers on board, a person 25+ years old must be on board to ensure there is no underage consumption.

AB 1536. It is LEGAL to send and receive text messages with hands-free devices powered by voice-operated software, like Siri.

AB 1708. Most germane for CoverHound customers, drivers can now show proof of insurance on a tablet or smartphone when pulled over by the police.

AB 2020. Bad news for urine test lovers: someone arrested for suspected DUI will no longer be given the option to express in a cup. Blood tests only from here until the next election, at least.

AB 2405. This is a good one too: vehicles with Clean Air Vehicle stickers prominently displayed will be allowed to enter the High Occupancy Toll lanes (but not the high-occupancy lanes on the road).

SB 1047. California Highway Police will begin what they are calling the “Silver Alert” system, which is similar to Amber Alert -- but for missing people older than 65.

SB 1298. Self-driving cars will be allowed on public roads(!) for testing purposes as long as a licensed driver is in the driver's seat. We even have a blog post about insuring these things.


Here's a great article about general insurance trends for 2013.

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