New year, new laws on the road

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. - The new year is bringing new laws and changing existing ones for drivers in California.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to remind motorists about changes that will take effect on January 1, 2017.

AB 1785 will prohibit drivers from holding and operating a cell phone or other electronic devices while driving, unless the device is mounted somewhere in the car where the driver's view is not obstructed.

A new law will also require children two years of age or younger to be secured in a car-seat that is facing towards the back of the car.

Under AB 51 motorcyclists can drive between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, also known as "lane splitting".

2017 will also bring changes in accident reporting under SB 491.

“A lot of people probably don't know that if you are involved in a traffic accident you must inform the DMV if that wreck results in a certain amount of financial damage. This law increases the minimum amount from $750 to $1,000, so in other words, if you have to pay at least $1,000 to repair your car after an accident then you need to report that collision to the DMV,” said Jaime Garza, who is a DMV spokesperson.

The fee for vehicle and trailer registration will go from $43 dollars to $53 beginning April 1, 2017.

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