Every year, new laws are enacted in California that affect people living throughout the state, and 2014 is no exception. This year, some new laws go into effect on January 1, while others are slated to take effect later in the year.
New California Laws
Here is a summary of some of the new laws scheduled to take effect in 2014.
- Traffic. On January 1, teen drivers will be prohibited from writing, sending or reading text messages, even on hands-free devices, when they are behind the wheel of a car. Another law that will affect all drivers is the rule that any motorized vehicle must give a cyclist at least three feet of space when passing. This law will go into effect in mid-September.
- Parking. If a meter does not work, you can now park in that spot for free. A new law was passed that prohibits cities from charging fines to those who park in spots where meters do not work.
- Family Leave. Currently, employers are required to offer unpaid family leave to parents, spouses, and domestic partners to care for a seriously ill family member or a new baby. Beginning January 1st, the program will be expanded to include grandparents, in-laws, grandchildren, and siblings.
- Gun Control. California will begin keeping purchase information on rifles and shotguns, as opposed to destroying records within five days as the state has done in the past.
- Schools. Transgender students will be allowed to use the bathrooms and join athletic teams of the gender with which they identify rather than their birth gender. Additionally, students on UC campuses will not be allowed to use e-cigarettes, hookahs, chewing tobacco or traditional smoking products.
- Paparazzi. Photographers will be prohibited from photographing the children of officials and celebrities in a harassing manner.
- Plastic Bags. Plastic bags will be prohibited at large grocery stores in Los Angeles as of January 1, and at small markets as of July 1.
- Minimum Wage. Minimum wage will go up to $9 per hour, effective July 1.
These and other changes in the law will require California citizens to understand the new regulations in order to stay in compliance with the law. They may also provide grounds for future lawsuits against those who refuse to follow the new laws and create hazardous situations that harm others. If you are injured by another person’s negligence, talk to a personal injury attorney immediately about your case.