Take Two®

News and culture through the lens of Southern California. Hosted by A Martínez

The Ride: New laws about cell phones, lane splitting and recalls

by Take Two®

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Catherine Singer dials a cell phone in her car as a truck approaches in San Clemente, California. David McNew/Getty Images

Every year California rolls out a slew of new laws affecting drivers. Here's a summary of a few of the more significant ones.

Use of Electronic Wireless Devices (AB 1785)

Basically, this means you can no longer hold a cell phone while driving. The law says you must use some kind of mount, either on the dash or windshield, that holds the phone without obscuring your view. Plus, under the new law you can only use a single swipe or tap to turn features on and off. No texting, please.

Motorcycle Lane Splitting (AB 51)

This one doesn't really change anything. It just codifies a practice drivers see everyday - motorcyclists driving between lanes of cars. The law also directs the CHP to develop guidelines for safe lane splitting.

Vehicle Safety Recalls (AB 287)

Millions of California cars and trucks have been issued recall notices, but owners are too often unaware. This law requires the DMV to include recall notices and advisories one the annual registration renewals they send out to every car owner. It also prohibits rental car companies from renting out recalled vehicles until they've been repaired.

Background Checks of Drivers of Transportation Network Companies (AB 1289)

This requires ride hail companies, like Lyft and Uber, to perform background checks on drivers. It prohibits hiring drivers with certain criminal convictions, including assault, battery, domestic violence, and driving under the influence.

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