Happy New Year! The roads were blissful during the lull between Christmas and New Year’s, but alas our freeway holiday respite is over. What has arrived in full force are angry drivers who absolutely do not want to go back to work. Let’s be honest, who actually works in L.A.? On any given weekday, you’ll see tons of people hanging out at Intelligentsia, Lemonade, King’s Road Cafe, etc. Sweet Butter is my favorite local hangout of clear industry professionals (or wannabes) who like normal tasty food at exorbitant prices. After all, you’re not truly a writer until you’re sipping a foam decorated $6 cappuccino in a ceramic cup under a portico. But hey, at least there’s free wifi.
But I digress….Along with the new year is a list of new laws that we all need to be aware of. There are more than these two, so I suggest you do a quick internet search about them. For example, the recommendation on how long a child has to be rear-facing in a car seat is no longer a recommendation:
AB53: Child Safety Seats
Children under age 2 must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system when being driven in a motor vehicle, unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or is 40 or more inches tall. Previously, only children under age 1 were required to be so restrained.
The debate on whether earbuds or headphones are allowed due to vague wording regarding headsets in the current California Vehicle Code is also no longer an issue thanks to this clarification:
SB491: Earbud Use
While operating a motor vehicle or bicycle, drivers and cyclists cannot wear headsets or ear buds that cover, rest on or are inserted in both ears. Emergency responders and wearers of hearing aids are excepted. The law was enacted to ensure that motorists can hear sirens and other safety alerts.
So those white ear buds you guys stick in your ears to jam harder to your dubstep playlist (or secret Bieber/Cyrus/Lovato mix) has never been legal and is further clarified as being illegal as of January 1, 2016. Those unfortunate few who have been ticketed for such offenses in the past can now at least rest assured that your civil liberties weren’t violated. Yes, folks, it actually is important to listen to traffic sounds and not tune out the world while you’re driving–all together now, can we say: observation?
I doubt the driver of the Infiniti Q50 above can even spell observation, though he had the ability to order an off-colored vanity plate (license plate starting with B31). This crazy nut job was speeding, tailgating, and weaving for no reason last week going west on Magnolia. As stated above, there were very few cars on the street, so there was absolutely no need to rush to each subsequent red light like a rejected teenager belting to the sorrowful tunes of Adele. Maybe he was lamenting that so many aggressive drivers were out of town and was actually missing some speedy action in his otherwise mundane life. Needless to say, he never signaled throughout this stretch of erratic driving, and thankfully we split ways as he made a right onto Kester Ave. (again, without signaling).