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Traffic Law Changes Beginning in 2020

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Traffic laws

Many people have at least one brush with traffic laws at some point in their lives. This is complicated by the fact that the laws change almost every year. Furthermore, with 50 states making their own laws, it is easy to find yourself in unfamiliar territory. To avoid needing a traffic lawyer Los Angeles residents, for example, should familiarize themselves with the new laws. Read on to find some of the traffic laws changing in 2020.

1. Florida Hands-Free Cell phone Law

Many states are introducing new laws to make it illegal to text and drive. This is not surprising given that many accidents are caused each year by distracted driving. In 2016, there were over 50,000 distracted-driving accidents in Florida alone.

Florida is the latest state to join this trend with a law to take effect in 2020. This makes it a primary offense to use a cell phone to text while driving. However, this only applies to texting. Holding a cell phone while talking on the phone is okay.

Additionally, it is acceptable to tap the phone to answer a call. Typing on the phone is banned. The main exception to this is a complete ban on using a cell phone in school zones and road work areas. If you are caught with a phone in your hand in these areas, you may be pulled over.

2. FMCSA Clearinghouse

Starting January 6, 2020, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will require its personnel to be registered with its clearinghouse website. This is intended to help with drug and alcohol regulation of the trucking industry and related fields.

This is mostly a procedural law change and shouldn’t affect most truckers. Furthermore, it has no effect on non-regulated drivers. Nonetheless, some people may find themselves needing a CDL attorney.

3. CARB Blocking Truck Registrations

Another law affecting truckers is a California Air Resources Board rule that will prevent registration of trucks and buses that are too old. Starting in 2020, vehicles over 26,000 pounds will not be able to register if they are from 2000 or older, lighter vehicles will need to be newer than 2004. These requirements will gradually get stricter until all trucks and buses are from 2011 or more recent.

Owners can opt to switch the engine for a more recent model while keeping the rest of the vehicle. This is primarily intended to ensure commercial vehicles are running cleaner.

4. Maryland Pedestrian Safety Law

In Maryland, the legislature passed a law to increase the fine for drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians. This is intended to protect people walking and on bikes from drivers shooting through crosswalks. The fine was doubled from $500 to $1,000.

5. Find the Right Representation

If you get a traffic ticket, you are not out of luck. There is a lot of room for ambiguity and interpretation in the laws and not every law is enforced evenly or fairly. Get a traffic ticket lawyer to help you. For example, you may need a Los Angeles DUI attorney if you have one too many while out in the City of Angles. Get the right representation today.

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