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The new California GPS law

Prior to January 1, 2009, it was illegal to mount a GPS (global positioning system) device ANYWHERE on a windshield in California. California and Minnesota were the only two states to prohibit mounting GPS devices on a windshield. Now, it’s down to Minnesota.

A new law, SB1567, now (since January 1, 2009) allows GPS devices to be mounted to a windshield provided that the device is “placed either in a seven-inch square in the lower right corner of the windshield or in a five-inch square in the lower left corner, while the vehicle is being driven. Motorists may still mount a GPS device on top of the dashboard as long as it doesn’t block their view of the road. The device must not be placed so that it interferes with the deployment of an air bag. The fine for a violation is approximately $108 including penalties, depending on the county.

I wrote a blog entry earlier about the new texting/emailing law. No, you won’t go to jail :-) , but the fines for repeat offenders may make it harder for them to buy gas! “Senate Bill 28 prohibits drivers from text messaging or e-mailing while driving. Fines for violating this law are at least $76 (including penalties) for a first offense and about $190 for subsequent offenses, depending on the county in which the violation occurred.

You may have heard that California is looking for additional sources of money to solve its huge (and growing) budget deficit. One new law is “SB 1407, which raises surcharges on traffic tickets by $35, “fix-it” tickets by $15, parking tickets by $3, and the court cost to attend traffic school by $25. The fee increases are being used to help pay for the construction and rehabilitation of courthouses.” Another new law states that “any vehicle purchased outside of California and brought into the state within 12 months of the purchase date is subject to the payment of a use tax (equivalent to a sales tax). Previously, the law imposed this tax only if the vehicle was brought into the state during the first 90 days of ownership. An owner can avoid paying this use tax by providing documentary evidence that he or she intends to use the vehicle outside the state. The state expects to receive approximately $20 million per year from this change in the law.

So, mount your GPS correctly, don’t text and email while driving, and if you are still running your windshield wipers without your headlights on, for “goodness sake” please stop it! :-)

Somebody has to pay for the huge budget deficit, but it doesn’t HAVE to be YOU!

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

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