road rage rialto bail bonds

Don’t Let Road Rage Ruin Your Life

road rage

With summer in full swing, people from all over the state of California, and the rest of the country, are busy enjoying summer their vacation. While this is fun for a lot of people, the trips can be a bit taxing. Nobody likes to be stuck in a car for extended periods of time. Doing that can make just about anyone cranky. If this affects the driver, it can easily lead to a bit of road rage.

Pretty much every driver out there assumes they are better than everyone else at driving. Their feelings often get “proven” when another driver makes a bad decision. This can lead to road rage, which if not kept in check, can quickly spiral out of control. One Alabama woman recently learned this fact the hard way.

Road Rage Shooting Incident

In Dodge City, Alabama, couple were driving their car when things got a bit heated between them and another driver. As their road rage grew worse, the woman pulled a gun out. She attempted to shoot the other driver, but missed. She somehow ended up shooting her husband.

The wife was arrested and her husband taken to a local hospital in critical condition after being shot in the head. The wife is facing charges of attempted murder, second-degree assault, and reckless endangerment.

Tips to Deal with Road Rage

The fact that people have very little patience when they are tired and stressed is no secret. Everyone gets a bit cranky like this. For many people, they are most cranky and stressed when they are behind the wheel of vehicle. A person has to deal with so many people while driving, and it’s a good chance that they are just as upset. This is why driving creates prime conditions for road rage.

At the end of the day, no one wants to drive while angry. It just isn’t fun. Luckily there are ways to avoid and/or manage road rage.

  • Be kind. A person can prevent road rage from spreading by not shouting at other drivers or using rude gestures.
  • Drive safely. This not only means following the rules of the road, but expecting other drivers to not follow those rules. By being prepared for another driver to make a bad decision, a person is less likely to be caught off guard and become enraged.
  • Plan ahead. While not always possible, planning ahead and leaving at a decent time will make drives less stressful. When a person is running late, they become stressed and more susceptible to road rage.
  • Remain calm. This can be done by taking deep breaths and either listening to calming music or podcasts that get a person thinking about things other than driving. This also includes being understanding of other drivers and recognizing that everyone makes mistakes from time to time.
  • Stay safe. If an angry person ever gets out of their car to talk to a person, that person should make sure their doors are locked and keep on driving. If the other driver begins to follow the person, don’t stop. That person should keep driving and either call the police or drive to the nearest police station.

By doing these things, a person stands a better chance of not getting upset themselves, and not upsetting other drivers as well.

Stay Calm and Safe This Summer

Driving is a big part of everyday life, especially if someone is driving to their vacation. A person should never let road rage ruin their summer vacation, or their life. Things can change in an instant, especially when someone is angry. Don’t let that happen. Stay calm and remember that every other driver on the road is just trying to get to somewhere alive like you are.

Do you have a favorite summer vacation drive? Have you ever had a terrifying road rage encounter before? If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

back to school tips ontario bail bonds

Are You Ready for Your Kids to Go Back to School?

back to school tips

Summer is drawing to a close, and for many parents, this means that their child is going back to school soon. As far as parents as concerned, this is a great day. The kids will soon be out of their parents’ hair and preoccupied with their own daily studies. This can make a parent’s life just a little bit easier, which is always appreciated.

However, as calm as things can be when the kids are away, parents will always worry about their little ones. Parents are always concerned for their kids’ safety, even when they are a school. So while the new school year brings some peace and quiet, it does come with some extra worry too. Luckily, there are some things that parents can do to help their child stay safe at school.

Some Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This School Year

A parent’s biggest goal is to ensure the health and safety of their child. This can be a bit difficult to do though when the child isn’t with the parent, like when the child is at school. Luckily, there are still things that a parent can do to keep their kid safe when they aren’t around.

One of the biggest aspects of school, is a child’s backpack. The simple device will hopefully hold everything that a student will need during their day at school. This means that choosing and properly packing a backpack is very important. Here are some backpack tips to consider this school year:

  • A full backpack should not weigh more than 20% of the child’s body weight.
  • Always use both straps to carry a back and evenly spread the weight across both shoulders.
  • Choose a backpack with wide shoulder straps and a padded back to ensure comfort and good weight distribution.
  • Use all of the compartments in the backpack to help spread out the weight within the pack itself.
  • If a backpack has a waist strap, use it.
  • Don’t put a child’s name on the outside of a backpack, strangers could use that to their advantage.
  • Avoid roller backpacks as they can cause tripping hazards for other students.

When a child is walking, or biking to school, there are plenty of things that they should know. Somethings that parents should teach their kids include:

  • Never take shortcuts, especially through areas with low visibility. Kids should stick to parent approved routes in case the parent needs to find the child.
  • Walk in groups.
  • Wear bright colored clothes to be more visible to drivers.
  • Always wear a helmet while biking.
  • Use hand signals while riding a bike.
  • Follow the rules of the road.
  • Don’t listen to music while biking.

A few extra tips include:

  • Reinforce Stranger Danger rules.
  • Don’t pack lunches and snacks that can spoil.
  • Talk to kids about bullying.

Give Kids a Brighter Future

As a parent, it can be hard to not worry about kids when they aren’t around. If a parent follows the tips listed above, they can help keep their child safe this school year. That is all any parent wants. By keeping their kids safe, their children will be able to do well in school this year. This will, in turn, help set the kid up for a brighter future.

Do you have any school safety tips that aren’t on this list? If so, add them in the comments down below and help out other parents.

downed traffic light upland bail bonds

Do You Know What to Do When a Traffic Light Stops Working?

downed traffic light

With all of the technology around us that helps keep the world running, it can be hard to imagine what things used to be like before that tech existed. How could people have lived without all of this amazing stuff? Well, every once in a while we get to find out. As amazing as all of this tech is, it isn’t indestructible, and can sometimes come crashing down.

Take for instance one of the most important bits of technology for drivers, especially those traveling through cities: Stoplights. These simple bits of tech may not seem like a big deal, but when they go down, they can cause quite a commotion.

Who Would Have Thought Traffic Lights Would Have Such an Impact

As drivers, everyone expects that everything will go their way. Cars will drive on the right side of the road, drivers will stay in their lanes, and use turn signals when needed. When something like this doesn’t work properly, such as a driver not signaling their turn or lane change, it can be frustrating.

What can be more frustrating, and even confusing for some, is when a traffic light goes down. Traffic lights can go down for a few different reasons, such as:

  • Power outage
  • Computer failure
  • Maintenance

When this occurs, all of the lights in the intersection will either blink the red light on and off, or they will go black entirely. This can cause a lot of confusion for drivers who were expecting the light to be working and telling them how to proceed through the intersection.

So, what are drivers supposed to do when they come across and intersection with stoplights that are not working?

How to Drive Through Downed Stoplights

The answer to that questions is actually very simple and straight forward. When stoplights go down, drivers are supposed to treat the intersection the same way they would one controlled by stop signs.

This means that drivers need to come to a full stop before entering the intersection. They should allow other drivers who reached the limit line before them to go first. So long as everyone is polite and takes their turn, things will move smoothly.

Some drivers assume that if the road they are on is a main road, and the other one a minor one, they on the main road do not have to stop. This is wrong. All cars in all directions have to stop before entering the intersection. Ironically, by stopping this keeps traffic moving in all directions.

Everyone has seen a working stoplight intersection before, and can reproduce it on a smaller, turn-based scale. For example, the traffic could proceed as follows, one car at a time per lane:

    1. Cars on the up and down road seeking to make a left can go first.

    2. Cars going straight on the up and down road go next.

    3. Cars making left turns on the right and left road go next.

    4. Cars going straight on the right and left roads go next.

    5. Repeat the process.

So long as everyone works together, things will run smoothly.

Just Take Turns

Dealing with a downed traffic light isn’t exactly fun. When people are driving, they expect everything to be working properly so that they can get to their destination on time. With all of the technology at our disposal, this should be easy, but sometimes, tech fails.

Something as small as a traffic light going down can greatly slow down a person’s commute. However, trying to rush through a down intersection only create more problems for everyone else. It is in everybody’s interest to work together and take turns.

Do you have another good example of when a small bit of tech goes down that had a bigger impact than you might have guessed? Share it in the comments down below.

social media safety tips

Sharing Your Summer Plans Online Can Be a Bad Idea

social media safety tips

As the weather begins to warm up and chase away the cold winds of winter, people begin to emerge from their hiding places of warmth and safety. Spring allows people to venture outside once again and enjoy some fresh air. The season signals the end of winter and heralds in the warmer months of summer.

With the inevitable approach of summer inching closer, people begin to make their plans for the season, namely their vacations. Everyone needs to take a break from their day to day lives from time to time, and a vacation allows this. It is a chance to break away from the normal and have an adventure, or just a chance to relax. No matter what a person chooses to do on their vacation, they know they will have fun.

As with anything that is exciting in a person’s life, there is an intense desire to share the experience with loved ones. While this used to mean having them come along on the trip, nowadays, it can simply mean posting about the vacation on social media. However, doing so can actually cause problems for the person in question.

Talking about Trips Online Can Be an Invitation for Thieves

With all of the social media sites and apps out there, it can be hard for a person not to share their life with others. It has practically become second nature to share with others online. This can be a bit problematic when it comes to vacations. Anyone going on a vacation wants to post about it, however, they may be sharing this information with the wrong people.

Social media sites are great because they allow us to share with the world. Unfortunately, this means that world has access to information about us as well. While, for the most part, only loved one look at one another’s social media, thieves have learned to use these sites to their advantage. For instance, posting the dates of an upcoming trip tells a would-be thieve exactly when the house is going to be empty.

It is very important for people to realize that they can overshare information. As a general rule of thumb, most people are aware that they should never share personal information, such as a home address or social security number, online. However, it is also a good idea to not post about upcoming or current trips as doing so could be an open invitation for thieves. It is a good idea for people to not share the specific dates of their vacation online. They also shouldn’t share vacation photos until after they have returned home since doing so during the trip is just another sign that the person isn’t home.

Having social media accounts set so that only approved people can see what is posted is a good idea, but not always foolproof. Sometimes friends, who may or may not have strict privacy settings, can share information with their friends. This could make it so that thieves still learn when a person isn’t home.

Don’t Overshare about Your Vacation

Everyone needs a little vacation from time to time. However, no one wants to come home from their relaxing trip to find that their home has been robbed. That would completely erase the relaxation felt from the trip and cause an untold amount of stress. In order to avoid that unnecessary stress, a person should be careful about what they post online about their vacations and other planned trips. They do not want to advertise to the world that their home will be empty for the next few days. Thieves see that as an open invitation to let themselves inside.

Since talking about any upcoming summer trips online is a bit of a bad idea, why not share some of your favorite vacations? What is your favorite summer trip that you think others would enjoy? Let us know in the comments down below.

consequences for serving alcohol to minors

Parents, Don’t Serve Alcohol at Graduation Parties

consequences for serving alcohol to minors

As summer draws nearer, students of all ages grow more and more antsy. Soon enough, school will let out for the most marvelous break of all, summer vacation. While all students look forward to the end of this school year, one group is more excited than all of the others. This group is, of course, the seniors in high school.

For high school seniors, the end of this school year is the end of their public school career. While some will be heading off to college, others may be heading off to a trade school or straight to a new job. Whatever a student is heading to, this is an exciting time. Naturally, this leads to a lot of celebrating and parties.

While many of these soon-to-be ex-students will be legal adults, they will still be too young to consume any alcohol. Since no one wants to end up breaking any laws, parents need to be careful when they are hosting graduation parties. If they aren’t careful, they could find themselves liable for a drunk driving accident.

Minors, Alcohol, and Host Liability in California

When it comes to raising young adults, parents all have their own, unique approach. For some parents, being over 18, but under the age of 21, means that their child cannot have alcohol no matter what. Other parents feel it is okay to allow their child to have a few drinks, provided they have adult supervision. Unfortunately, for those latter parents, that is actually against the law here in California under Business and Professions (BP) Code 25658.2.

Here in the state of California, it is illegal for anyone, including the parents, to allow a minor to consume alcohol in public or in their own household. If the minor then leaves the house and drives or causes a traffic accident, not only will the minor face legal charges, the adult who gave them the alcohol will face misdemeanor charges. This means the adult could face up to a year in jail and a fine of $1,000.
This makes things very difficult for anyone planning on hosting a graduation party. Party hosts are responsible for ensuring that the minors at their parties stay safe and healthy. Responsible adults need to take all reasonable steps to ensure that no underage drinking occurs at any of their parties. This means doing more than just telling the minors that they can’t have any alcohol if the host is providing alcohol to the adults at the party. If a minor does have alcohol, and then drives away from the party, the host could be held responsible for any accidents caused by the drunk minor.

If a drunk minor were to get into an accident, they would face harsh repercussions related to DUI. Aside from that, the adult in charge of the party could face legal charges such as contributing to the delinquency of a minor and furnishing a minor with alcohol. Plus, the adult could be held liable for paying for any of the damages caused by the minor, which depending on the size of the accident, could be very costly.

It Is Better for Everyone to Keep Things Safe and Sober

Nobody wants to deal with a drunk driving accident, especially if it involves a minor on the verge of graduating from high school. The results of an accident like that could be utterly devastating. That is why it is best to keep alcohol far away from graduation parties.

While graduating seniors are on their way to becoming full-fledged adults, they aren’t quite there yet. They are still in the tail end of that teen phase, and as all adults will attest to, teens don’t make the best decisions. That is why the legal drinking age across the country is 21. By then, teens have typically matured a little more and are more prepared to take on all of the responsibility that comes with consuming alcohol.

What do you think of California’s take on minors and drinking? Is the state too strict, or is it on the right path? What about the states take on host responsibility? Do you think party hosts should be held liable for any damages caused by a minor that got drunk at their party? Let us know what you think in the comments down below, and congratulations to all the seniors out their preparing to graduate from high school.

new bac level in california

Will California Make it Easier to Get a DUI?

new bac level in california

Most people are aware of the fact that driving while drunk is a very bad thing to do. Driving under the influence (DUI) is an incredibly risky and dangerous act, not just for the driver, but everyone else they pass on the road. This is due to the fact that alcohol impairs a person’s abilities and thoughts, making them unfit to drive any sort of vehicle.

Despite knowing this fact, many drivers out there still break this law every single day. These drivers convince themselves that they are fine to drive, and that they aren’t that drunk. They drive off to wherever, and that’s where things go wrong.

There are laws against drunk driving in every single state in the Union in order to keep people safe. The laws here in California may just become a bit stricter thanks to a proposed bill currently going through the California State Assembly.

Current DUI Laws in California

The laws against drunk driving here in California are pretty straightforward and mesh with the laws in most other states. Anyone who is caught driving a motor vehicle, whether it be a car, truck, or boat, with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or greater is guilty of committing DUI under state law.

For the most part, DUI in California is charged as a misdemeanor offense, unless someone was injured as a result of the crime. A first time DUI offense earns a driver:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • 4 month driver’s license suspension.
  • Up to 9 months of DUI School.

Subsequent offenses earn a driver more jail time, longer license suspensions, and more required DUI School. After a driver receives four DUI’s, or injures someone due to their recklessness, they will be charged with felony DUI.

This comes with much heftier consequences, including:

  • A state prison stay ranging from 16 months to 16 years.
  • A max fine of $5,000, plus any owed restitution to victims.
  • A driver’s license suspension ranging from 1 to 5 years.
  • 18 to 30 months of DUI School.

The exact consequences of felony DUI are dependent on the circumstances of the crime in question, mainly if another person was injured or not.

California Assembly Bill 1713

Recently, California lawmakers in the State Assembly began considering Assembly Bill (AB) 1713. This new bill seeks to tighten restrictions on drunk driving by lowering the legal BAC in California. At first, this bill seeks to make it more legal for those who have been drinking to drive, it actually does the opposite.

By lowering the BAC from .08% to .05%, as the bill proposes, less alcohol would be required to be in a person’s blood for them to be considered drunk while driving. Many people across the state are in favor of this because they feel that having the standard at .08% is too high, and far too many drivers get away with driving while drunk because they didn’t reach that threshold.

This new proposed standard may seem extreme, but it is important to remember that commercial drivers, taxi drivers, truckers, and bus drivers, are all held to this standard already here in California. This proposed bill would be relatively new ground, since only one other state in the country has lowered the BAC of DUI’s, that state being Utah.

Don’t Drive While Drunk

Driving while drunk is never a good idea. It puts the driver’s own life at risk, as well as everyone else’s. While intoxicated, a person’s brain is not up to the task of controlling a motor vehicle. They have slower reaction times, less control over their body, and therefore are more likely to get into an accident.

With today’s modern technology, there is no reason to drive drunk. Anyone with a smartphone in their pocket can easily call a friend or family member to come pick them up, or better yet, hire a driver to come get them. With taxis, Lyft, and Uber, getting a ride home has never been easier.

What do you think of this proposed bill? Should California go through with lowering the BAC of DUI’s, or should the limit be left where it is at .08%? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

child abuse vs discipline

Is it OK to Spank your Child in Public?

child abuse vs discipline

A parent’s job is not easy. Raising a child takes a lot of effort and time, and that is putting things mildly. Taking care of a child and raising him or her to be a functional adult is tough. It is even tougher when parents have to worry about whether or not what they are doing could get them into legal trouble.

This kind of thought is often brought up when it comes to punishing a child, especially corporal punishment. With all of the debating that surrounds this subject, many parents are left wondering where the line between punishment and abuse is drawn. They wonder if it is okay for them to spank their child in a public place for misbehaving, and fear that if they do, someone will report them to the authorities.

Child Abuse Is Harmful

Child abuse is not something to be taken lightly. This terrible crime occurs when a parent or caregiver causes injury, emotional harm, risk of harm, or death to a child, whether they intended to or not.

This abuse can come in all sorts of forms, from the obvious physical harm to other types of abuse, including:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect

Abuse like this can leave lasting impacts on a child well into adulthood. That is why people fight so hard to stop and prevent child abuse, and why it is illegal to abuse a child.

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse

Many adults nowadays grew up getting a spanking or two as a child. The spanking sent a very clear message to the child that that kind of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated. For some people, after getting just a few spankings, the threat alone of one would keep them in line from that point on.

However, nowadays this is a very controversial subject. There is a lot of debate amongst people on whether or not spanking a child is a form of child abuse. Here in the state of California, there is a somewhat clear line that separates corporal punishment from child abuse.
California Penal Code (PC) 273 covers many things relating to children, such as child endangerment and child abuse. The law makes it illegal to inflict and cruel or inhumane punishment on a minor under the age of 18. At first, this may sound like spanking would be illegal under this law, however that is not the case.

Spanking a child, with a bare hand or an object, is legal under California law so long as it falls within reasonable discipline.

This is often determined by two factors:

    1. Whether or not the punishment was warranted.
    2. Whether or not the punishment was considered excessive.

This means that a parent is allowed to spank their child, provided there was reason to do so and that they do not overdo the punishment.

What Are the Consequences if a Parent is Guilty of Child Abuse?

Here in California, PC 273 is a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. How the offense is charged is dependent on the facts of the incident in question.

When charged as a misdemeanor, PC 273 carries the following consequences:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $6,000.
  • Some combination of fine and jail time.

When charged as a felony, PC 273 consequences increase to:

  • 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $6,000.
  • Some combination of fine and prison time.

Aside from the legal consequences, being convicted for child abuse will also brand the person in the eyes of society, which can negatively affect the person for years to come.

Know the Difference

The bottom line is that here in California, a parent is allowed to spank their child so long as the punishment fits the crime. If a parent overdoes the punishment, then it could be considered abuse.

If a person suspects that a child may be the victim of abuse, they should report it to the proper authorities. Here in California, this means reporting the incident or case to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The CDSS has a 24-hour emergency hotline for Child Protective Services for each individual county, the numbers of which can be found here. It can also be a good idea to make a report with the local police or sheriff’s department.

What do you think of California’s ruling on spankings and child abuse in general? Let us know in the comments down below.

hit and run laws and animals

What Should a Driver Do After Hitting an Animal?

hit and run laws and animals

Most pet owners care deeply about their furry little companions. To them, pets are more than just animals, they are a part of the family. Pet owners, the good ones anyways, would do anything for their furry companions in order to keep them safe and happy. People love their pets. Unfortunately, not every pet, or animal, is as well cared for as it should be. There are many animals out there that find themselves wandering the streets when their owner isn’t paying attention.

The streets are not designed to be safe for pets. They are designed to help get vehicles quickly from point A to point B. Cars are very unlikely to stop unless a sign or signal tells them to. Unfortunately, this simple concept goes over the heads of pets. They do not realize that running across the street is a bad idea. This little action can lead to very bad results for the pet and any unsuspecting drivers.

Who’s Fault Is It?

The last thing any driver wants to do is end up in an accident. All accidents are bad and unpleasant to deal with. No one wants to be responsible for hitting or breaking another person’s property. This is why some people, when given the chance, run away from the accident instead of dealing with it. This is especially true when a person hits an animal.

What many people do not realize, is that by hitting an animal, they have technically been in an accident. When the leave the scene without taking care of things, they have committed hit and run. They can actually face criminal charges for doing this.

Drivers who drive off after hitting an animal are often afraid of any repercussions for the accident. However, they often don’t realize that drivers don’t get into trouble for this. In the eyes of the law, it is actually the pet owner who is responsible. After all, it is the owner’s responsibility to keep the animal safe, which they failed to do if the animal was in the road.

What Should the Driver Do?

As with any accident, the first thing a driver should do is safely pullover to the side of the road. Once that has been done, the driver should check on the animal. If the animal is still alive, then they should call local law enforcement for assistance.

If the animal is still in the road, the driver can attempt to move it to the side, but should only do so if it is safe. Injured animals are often scared and in a lot of pain, which makes them unpredictable. Even if a person is trying to help, the animal may lash out.

The next step would be to try and locate the animal’s owner. If the animal has a tag, the driver should try to look at that. If there are people around, the driver can ask them if they know who the animal belongs to.

Some people may feel compelled to place the animal in their car and take it to a vet. Drivers are not required by law to do this, and should be aware that if they do, they take responsibility for the animal. This means that if no owner can be identified, than the driver will be responsible for any vet expenses.

The Driver Needs to Stop

The bottom line is, when a driver hits an animal, they need to stop and deal with the accident. If they don’t, they can face legal consequences for committing hit and run. Here in California, this would be considered a misdemeanor crime that earns a person:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max base fine of $1,000.
  • Up to 3 years of informal probation.
  • Owing restitution to the animal’s owner.
  • 2 points on the driver’s record.

If a person doesn’t want to face these kind of consequences, then they need to stop and deal with the unpleasantness of hitting an animal. By doing so, they take responsibility and will most likely no get into trouble.

california roundabout laws

Learning to Cope with Roundabouts in the US

california roundabout laws

There is no denying that the average driver has to deal with a lot of obnoxiousness while behind the wheel of the car. Any driver could list at least a dozen different scenarios that drive them absolutely crazy. Whether it dealing with jaywalking pedestrians, or tailgating jerks, every driver has dealt with their fair share of frustrations.

While those scenarios are difficult and frustrating, there are others that don’t spring to mind but can be just as aggravating. These instances usually arise when the driver encounters something and they aren’t quite sure how to respond or proceed. A perfect example of this for most American drivers would be when they come across a roundabout.

These relatively simple, at least on paper, traffic intersections can be quite confusing for us American drivers when encountered in the “wild.” However, they shouldn’t be feared. Many studies have proven that roundabouts can provide a lot of benefits. Most US drivers just need a refresher in how to handle them.

What Are Roundabouts?

For those drivers who have never encountered a roundabout, which isn’t impossible here in the US, a roundabout is a type of circular intersection that permits traffic to flow in one direction around the circle. Other common names include traffic circles and road circles. However, these two aren’t exactly accurate. A true roundabout doesn’t use any signs or signals to control the flow of traffic, whereas traffic circles do.

Roundabouts are fairly uncommon across the United States. Meanwhile, they are extremely prominent in other countries. For instance, drivers in France, which had over 30,000 roundabouts in 2008, are around 25 times more likely to encounter a roundabout that drivers in the United States. This is quite impressive considering the vast size difference between the two countries.

One study estimated that an American driver will go through roughly 1,100 intersections before ever encountering a roundabout. Going back to France, French drivers are estimated to encounter a roundabout every 45 intersections.

These statistics are pretty impressive, considering that, according to the UK Roundabout Appreciation Society, American businessman William Phelps Eno was the first man to come up with a roundabout by designing the system for Columbus Circle in New York City.

The Benefits of Roundabouts

There have been dozens upon dozens of studies into roundabouts and their benefits. The largest benefit being how they help the flow of traffic. Unlike conventional intersections, roundabouts do not require traffic to stop, simply slow down. This means that traffic can keep moving at a steady pace, thereby reducing congestion.

On top of keeping traffic moving, roundabouts have also been proven to be much safer than typical intersections. According to a report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on average, roundabouts experience 39% fewer vehicle collisions, 76% fewer injuries, and 90% fewer serious injuries and fatalities. This is largely due to the fact that they reduce speeds and reduce the amount of collision points in the intersection itself. Most collisions in roundabouts happen at much slower speeds and are only glancing blows, instead of head-on impacts.

Lastly, due to the lack of stopping and idling at roundabouts, these intersections also help cut back on pollution. Cars are often able to keep moving through roundabouts, which means that gas they are burning is actually being used rather than being wasted. On top of that, since there is less stopping and going, there is less noise pollution as well. This is due to the fact that engines make more noise when they are working to get a car moving again after a full stop.

How to Deal with Roundabouts

Roundabouts are not as scary as they may appear. Often times, they only look confusing because they are new, not because they are difficult. There are a few simple rules to keep in mind when going through a roundabout.

  • Drivers entering a roundabout have to yield to cars already in the roundabout. A driver should never force their way into a roundabout, since cars in the circle have right-of-way.
  • Drivers should stay in their lane once in the roundabout. Do not change lanes partway through.
  • Never stop in a roundabout. These intersections are meant to keep traffic flowing, stopping within one will more than likely cause an accident.
  • Avoid driving next to over-sized vehicles. Large vehicles like buses and semi-trucks will likely drift into neighboring lanes as they make turns, so it is best to keep some distance.

That’s all there is to it. So long as a driver pays attention to the signs as they approach, and keep these rules in mind, they will be just fine. They will be able to keep moving to their destination without having to stop and wait for a light to change.

consequences for making annoying calls

Can You Get Arrested for Making a Phone Call?

consequences for making annoying calls

Cell phones have made communication very easy since their creation. Before, the only times when people could use phones were when they found one mounted to a wall. Nowadays, everyone walks around with a phone in their pockets. Staying in touch with loved ones has never been easier.

Unfortunately, there is a drawback to this. Not only is it easier for a person to contact whoever they want, it is easier for others to reach that particular person. This is both a blessing and a curse. Just ask anyone who has ever found themselves in the unfortunate position of having their phone number on a telemarketer’s list.

What some Californians are not aware of, is the fact that making annoying phone calls can be considered a crime in the state. If phone calls meets certain conditions, it can get the caller into legal trouble.

The Law against Annoying Phone Calls

The state of California actually has a law against annoying phone calls; Penal Code (PC) 653. This law makes it a crime for a person to intentionally make annoying or harassing phone calls to a person. Aside from phone calls, this law also extends electronic communications sent through phones such as texts or emails. This law is usually applied in instances of stalking or domestic abuse, but can potentially be applied to prank phone calls as well.

The law lists 3 elements that can make up an annoying phone call:

  • The caller uses obscene language.
  • The caller threatens the person they called.
  • There are repeated phone calls.

If one of those elements is met, then the phone call can be considered annoying. However, it is important to realize the intent of the call needs to be to annoy or harass the other person. If that intent is not there, then the call won’t be considered annoying. Unfortunately, this means that calls from telemarketers aren’t considered annoying phone calls under this law.

Typically in law, the word obscene means sexual in nature. However, that is not the exact case for this law. Here, courts have decided that obscene can also stand for crude or offensive language. Basically, if a caller cusses out a person, they can be found guilty of making an annoying phone call under PC 653. However, this does not stand if the caller normally uses a lot of swearing when talking to the person and vice versa.

If a caller threatens the person they called with either violence or injury, they have committed an annoying phone call. This also extends to the person’s family and property. If either are threatened by the caller, then the caller has likely broken the law.

Penalties of Breaking PC 653

Breaking PC 653 is a misdemeanor offense in the state of California. If a person is found guilty of making annoying phone calls, then they can face:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A fine no larger than $1,000.
  • Some combination of fine and jail time.

In some cases, the defendant may only be put on probation or be required to participate in counseling.

Annoying Phone Calls Are Annoying to Receive

While cell phones are great and open up a whole new avenue of communication, there are some calls that people just don’t want to get. No one wants to receive annoying phone calls, and no one wants to be threatened over the phone. Everyone has the right to feel safe, which is why California put this law into effect.

If a person is thinking of making a prank call, something that is often considered harmless, they may want to think again. It can get them into trouble with the law if they are not careful. After all, no one wants to go to jail for making a phone call.