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Mercury News Roadshow column

San Jose Mercury News - 12/31/2017

Dec. 31--Q: The solution to the problem of able-bodied people using disabled placards is to modify the process of obtaining a permit so that abuse can be eliminated.

Brenda Bruni

San Jose

A: Here's a start. Starting Monday, a new law requires those applying for a disabled parking placard to provide proof of their name and birthdate.

The law also will limit the number of replacement placards one can request without obtaining a medical certification to four in two years.

So what other new laws or changes will go into effect Monday or later in 2018? Glad you asked. Here's a look at what the Department of Motor Vehicles wants you to know.


Cannabis use in vehicles prohibits smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana products while driving or riding as a passenger. Penalties could be as severe as for drunk driving.


Beginning July 1, it will be unlawful for a person to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or more when a passenger is in the vehicle. This will mean that drivers of a passenger for hire, in their personal vehicles, will be held to a higher standard of safety while transporting people.

The DMV will suspend a person's driver license if a conviction is added to their record.


Beginning July 1, this law requires a passenger on a bus equipped with seatbelts to be properly restrained by a safety belt.

This law also prohibits a parent, guardian, or chartering party to transport on a bus, or permit to be transported on a bus, a child who is at least 8 years of age but under 16, unless they are properly restrained by a safety belt.


Unpaid parking violations for registration or driver license renewal now allows low-income Californians with outstanding parking violations to repay fines and penalties prior to the parking violation being reported to the DMV.


This law authorizes the DMV to accept a certificate of satisfactory completion of any motorcyclist-training program approved by the CHP in lieu of the required motorcycle skills test.

Applicants for an original motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement under 21 years of age continue to be required to complete a novice motorcyclist-training program.


A pedestrian can begin crossing an intersection while facing a traffic signal displaying a flashing "DON'T WALK" or "Upraised Hand" symbol if the traffic signal includes a countdown timer and the pedestrian can complete the crossing before the signal goes to a steady "DON'T WALK" or "Upraised Hand."


The DMV will begin collecting at the time of registration or renewal extra fees ranging from $25 to $175, based on the vehicle's current value. Money goes to fix state roads.

Join Gary Richards for an hourlong chat noon Wednesday at www.mercurynews.com/live-chats. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@bayareanewsgroup.com.


(c)2017 the San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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