Driving laws are constantly changing around the world in order to keep up with the times and new technology. Drivers in the 1920s had no idea that there would be laws 100 years later prohibiting the use of magical devices, also known as smartphones when driving. They were too busy drinking while driving and not wearing seat belts to conceive of such things.
Much has changed and continues to do so, but being ignorant about driving codes is no excuse for breaking the law. Whether you agree with them or not, here are some driving laws that have been introduced in 2020 in the USA. Read on to stay ahead of the curve.
New 2020 New York City Driving Laws
In New York City, drivers who get five camera-issued red light tickets or 15 camera-issued speeding tickets in a 12 month period will have to take a traffic safety course or risk losing their licenses. When told about the new law, one New Yorker cheekily said, “I guess I’m alright. I drive and I don’t even have a license.” He was arrested soon after.
NYC Mayor Bill DeBlasio has been seeking to reduce traffic fatalities by lowering speed limits and adding speed cameras. So the next time you’re driving through the streets of New York and you see a flash in your rearview mirror, smile! You’re on camera.
New 2020 California Driving Laws
In California, a new law makes it illegal to sell an appointment with the Department Of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Yes, you read that right. Now these folks will have to wait 4 hours in line just like everybody else to get verbally abused. It begs the question though: how were people selling these appointments? Was there a website? Were ticket scalpers hanging around DMV parking lots hollering, “I got a front row spot with Darla behind the counter! 1 pm prime time!”
If you don’t have a car, no problem. People with a valid driver’s license or permit of any class are now permitted to operate motorozied scooters in California. Now delivery guys pretending to pedal those fake bicycles with the motorized engine can breathe easy as long as they have a driver’s license to show an officer.
Cell Phone Restrictions While Driving Across the Country
On July 1st, 2020 in Indiana, law enforcement agencies enacted a new distracted driving law statewide. The law prohibits the driver of a motor vehicle from holding or operating a cell phone, personal digital assistant, pager or another electronic device while the vehicle is in motion. Wait, a pager? Who still uses a pager? Should we also create a law prohibiting the use of typewriters while driving?
Not surprising that Indiana is a little behind-the-times when they still have a law that makes check forging punishable by flogging. Ouch. Less painfully, the new driving statute says that a driver can be stopped by police, fined up to $500 and potentially lose their license for having a phone in their hand while driving, even if they are not using the phone at the time. Imagine you’re driving, go to pick up your coffee, accidentally grab your phone and boom $500 for Uncle Sam.
Other states like Idaho and South Dakota have followed suit.
Idaho State Police will issue warnings until December 31, and work to educate drivers about the new law. Citations will be issued as of Jan 1st, 2021. That’s some good midwestern politeness, they’ll give you a 5 month buffer before bringing down the hammer.
South Dakota residents will be prohibited from using a cellphone except for emergency purposes, using a GPS app or reading or entering a phone number. This news may not be that relevant however, because… have YOU ever met anyone from South Dakota?
Virginia passed a law to bar the use of handheld phones while driving starting Jan 1st 2021 and other states including Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina also have bills in their legislature. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission, distracted driving resulted in 2,841 fatalities in 2018. Do you think Steve Jobs had any idea the iPhone would be such a harbinger of doom?
Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving – only Montana and Missouri don’t have such a law for drivers according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Know the New Driving Laws and Stay Out of Jail
So what did we learn? It’s important to brush up on the new laws affecting motorists around the country so that one day you don’t become the subject of a fine or penalty that you had no idea existed. But ignorance is no excuse. It’s not like you can say, “Sorry officer, I didn’t know I couldn’t run people over with my truck” and expect to get a free pass from the law.
I think we can all agree, mobile phone use is harmful when driving. Seriously, checking your ex’s Facebook profile to post angry comments about his or her new relationship can wait until you’ve parked. Do yourself a favor: know the rules and obey them. You might just hold onto the money in your wallet and keep out of a prison cell with a guy named “Big Cheeks Bubba.”