default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

New year brought major changes to state Vehicle Code

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, January 16, 2005 10:00 pm | Updated: 6:29 pm, Wed May 16, 2012.

It's a new year and, as always, the state legislature and governor have given us a number of new laws.

In fact, about 200 changes and updates were made to the California Vehicle Code for 2005.

Here's a quick recap of the major items, effective Jan. 1, unless otherwise noted:

Child seats: Children MUST be secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint (safety seat or booster seat) IN THE BACK SEAT OF A VEHICLE until they are at least 6 years old or weigh at least 60 pounds. Exceptions include vehicles that have no forward facing back seat, or if kids under 12 have taken up all the back seat spaces, in which case I would not want your grocery bill.

Motorized scooters: Up until now, you could operate a motorized scooter on the street if you were at least 16 years old, even without a license. As of Jan. 1, a minimum of a Class C driver's license will be required. Also, a properly maintained muffler is now required at all times on these vehicles. The other rules (bike lanes, no street over 35 mph) have not changed. By the way, it is also now illegal to sell a motorized scooter that will generate noise of 80 decibels at 50 feet.

Speeding: With the skyrocketing number of tickets issued on California roads for driving over 100 miles per hour, fines have been increased to as much as $1000, depending on prior offenses.

Wireless phones: School bus and transit vehicle operators will not be allowed to use a cellular phone while the vehicle is in motion, with certain exceptions such as emergencies. Is this a harbinger of such a law for regular motorists? We will keep an eye on this one.

DUI priors: The number of years that DUI prior convictions can count for enhanced penalties has been increased from seven to ten. This now means that if you are arrested for DUI and have three such priors in the last ten years, you will be charged with a felony. (Read: state prison.)

For commuters: If you are thinking about buying a hybrid Ford Escape or Toyota Prius, here is a good reason: Such vehicles are now allowed to receive the DMV Clean Air Vehicle decal. You then get to drive in the carpool lane, alone. (So you can get rid of the dummy. Yeah, we knew.)

Down the road: As of Sept. 20, 2005, California auto dealers will not be permitted to sell you a car unless there is a front license plate bracket affixed to the bumper (not loose in the trunk.) I know, your new Dodge Magnum wagon looks really cool without one, but a front plate is required, so don't blame the dealer.

As of July 1, 2005, the headlight law, 24400 VC, will be amended. In addition to the "hours of darkness" and "reduced visibility" clauses that we are all familiar with, there is a new wrinkle. The new law will require that any time weather conditions create the need to use your windshield wipers continuously, you must display your headlights. Maybe we will see an optional relay switch between the two in some of the 2006 cars?

Last, the law is requiring that all auto insurance companies link electronically to DMV as of Sept. 1, 2006. Even though that is a long lead-in period, many companies are already hooked up (my own company, Nationwide, is doing this now.) This will save you sending in written proof of insurance to DMV, and allow online registration, since smog results have been electronically transferred for some time. I just did the online license plate renewal for my pickup, and it is a snap! On the flip side, if you let your insurance lapse, it will allow DMV to put an almost immediate hold on your registration.

Have a safe year on the road!

Questions, comments, or observations for Behind the Badge can be submitted by e-mail to Lt. Bill Barry at wbarry@pd.lodi.gov">wbarry@pd.lodi.gov; by mail to the Lodi Police Department, 215 W. Elm St., Lodi, CA 95240; or by phone to his voice-mail, (209) 333-6800, Box 2409.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don’t pretend you’re someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don’t threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don’t insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the ‘Report’ link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.
  • 9 Don’t be a troll.
  • 10 Don’t reveal personal information about other commenters. You may reveal your own personal information, but we advise you not to do so.
  • 11 We reserve the right, at our discretion, to monitor, delete or choose not to post any comment. This may include removing or monitoring posts that we believe violate the spirit or letter of these rules, or that we otherwise determine at our discretion needs to be monitored, not posted, or deleted.

Welcome to the discussion.

City of Lodi Leaf Pickup Schedule


Popular Stories


Vote on the biggest local story in 2014: See poll below

It has been an eventful year in Lodi, from the antics of a wild turkey named Tom Kettleman to the announced closure of the General Mills plant. What do you see as the biggest story of the year?

Total Votes: 288


Your News

News for the community, by the community.

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists