The rules of the road just got a little tighter. Three new traffic laws went into effect July 1 in California.
Here are the three new laws, which could have a big impact on church vans, bus seat belts and rideshare drivers:
- Private Carriers of Passengers: This law transfers regulatory authority over the Private Carrier of Passengers Program from the California Public Utilities Commission to the DMV. A private carrier is defined as offering not-for-hire transportation services, such as the driver of a church bus or an employee shuttle. The DMV and the California Highway Patrol will administer this program jointly. The DMV is responsible for issuing certificates for intrastate authority and verifying proof of liability insurance, while the CHP will regulate compliance and the safe operation of the vehicles.
- Buses and Seatbelts: This law requires passengers in a bus equipped with seat belts to be properly restrained. Children between 8 and 15 years old traveling on a bus must wear a seat belt or be in an appropriate restraint that meets federal safety standards. A violation is punishable by a fine.
- DUI Passenger for Hire: This law prohibits a driver with a blood alcohol level of 0.04 percent or more from transporting a passenger for hire, such as on Uber or Lyft. This lowers the legal limit from 0.08 to the same standard for commercial drivers. The DMV said that it wants to ensure the public understands drivers of passengers for hire will be held to a higher standard of safety while transporting people. The DMV will suspend a person's driver's license if a conviction is added to their record. Commercial driver license holders will receive a disqualification.