For most of us, it’s been many moons since we passed Drivers Training and got that plastic card stating we were capable of operating a vehicle. While the basic laws have pretty much stayed the same, there are a few you may not be as familiar with. Here are 20 to keep you on your toes, and remember keep the hands at ten and two, or is it three and nine?
Cell Phones and Texting
1. It is illegal to text, access the Internet, or use a hand-held cell phone while driving.
2. There is a $50 fine for the first offense in seven years, a $100 fine for the second offense, and a $250 fine for the third and all following offenses.
3. Fines may be doubled if the offense takes place in a work zone.
4. Drivers may talk with a hands-free headset and touch the phone to turn it on, off, or to launch a feature on the device while making voice calls.
Move Over Laws
5. After accidents in which only vehicles and/or property are damaged, and no one is injured, vehicles should be moved somewhere that will not block traffic (as long as this can be done safely).
6. Drivers must report to the DMV all crashes resulting in damages or injuries of $750 or more. If the accident is not investigated by a police officer, every party involved is required to file a report on DMV Form SR-1 within no more than 10 days.
7. Except when directed by an officer, drivers nearing a stopped emergency vehicle with flashing lights must slow to a sensible speed below the posted limit, advance with caution, be ready to stop, and, if possible, shift to a lane away from the one in which the emergency vehicle is located.
8. When passing a bicycle, drivers must shift to a neighboring lane to the left, if possible. Otherwise, drivers should maintain at least three feet between the bicycle and the vehicle while passing.
9. Any driver at-fault in a crash with a pedestrian or bicyclist may be charged with reckless driving.
10. Passengers riding in the front and rear seat must wear safety belts.
11. Passengers age six and under who weigh less than 60 pounds are required to ride in a certified child restraint system.
Children and Pets
12. Children age seven or younger should never be left alone in a vehicle if conditions pose a serious safety and health risk to the child, unless someone age 12 or older is supervising or within sight.
13. During extreme hot or cold temperatures, it is against the law to leave a cat or dog unattended in a vehicle.
14. It is illegal to transport passengers under age 18 in the back of a flatbed or pickup truck, with the exception of parades, slide-in campers, camper shells, and ranching and farming activities.
15. Motorists under age 18 may not carry any passengers under 18 years of age, with the exception of immediate family memebers, for the first six months after obtaining their license.
16. Drivers under age 18 are subject to a curfew. They may not drive between 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. except when driving to a scheduled work or school event.
Driving Under the Influence
17. Drivers may not refuse to undergo a blood, breath or urine test as instructed by a police officer.
18. Blood samples can be taken involuntarily, even for first offenses.
19. For non-commercial drivers age 21 and over, the legal limit is .08 percent blood alcohol level, or any measurable amount of a controlled substance.
20. For non-commercial drivers under age 21, the legal limit is .02 percent.
Knowing the law is the first step toward staying safe on the road. Keeping these 20 rules in mind will go a long way toward helping you avoid danger and injuries behind the wheel.