price gouging laws in california

What Is Price Gouging?

price gouging laws in california

Anyone who knows about economics and the concept supply and demand knows that as demand goes up and supply struggles to keep up, prices can rise too. The more people want something, and the less of it there is, the more expensive that item becomes. This is something that a lot of people are experiencing as shortages of basic goods abound thanks to the panic caused by the COVID-19 (Corona) Virus.

As people struggle to get basic necessities, some people are taking advantage of the shortage to make a quick buck. For instance, the prices of hand sanitizer and face masks shot up by roughly 500% on eBay. Similar practices can be found pretty much everywhere due to the virus, and while some people may think it is okay, raising prices like this during an emergency is pretty frowned upon by most people.

Is It Legal?

Here in the state of California, the act of price gouging is made illegal under the Penal Code (PC) 396. Under this law, it is illegal for someone to unjustifiably raise the prices of basic goods and services by excessive amounts during a state of emergency. As far as the law is concerned, an excessive amount is 10% or more of a price increase during an emergency compared to the prices before the emergency was declared.

The items that are protected from price gouging are mostly basic household items that families regularly need. Some of the items that are specifically listed under the law include:

  • Food and drink.
  • Pet food.
  • Toiletries.
  • Emergency supplies.
  • Diapers.
  • Batteries.
  • Radios.
  • Medical supplies.
  • Construction materials.
  • Oils and gasoline.

Services that could be essential to recovering from a disaster are also protected from price gouging. Some of these services include:

  • Transportation.
  • Storage.
  • Towing.
  • Building repairs.
  • Hotel rates.

Prices of these goods and services can legally be raised slightly to reflect shortages or an increase in the cost of labor during the emergency. In these instances, the seller or service provider will have to prove that the increased prices were necessary.

The Consequences of Price Gouging

PC 396 makes the act of price gouging a misdemeanor offense. Any seller or service provider who is caught price gouging their customers will face misdemeanor charges. The penalties for this crime are:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.

How to Deal with Price Gouging?

Price gouging is monitored and enforced by the California Attorney General and local district attorneys. If a person suspects that they are dealing with price gouging, then they should report the incident to their local district attorney’s office or go to the California Attorney General’s website where there is a form that can be filled out online.

During a state of emergency, such as a global pandemic, no one should have to deal with increased prices on necessary goods and services just so one bad person can make a quick buck. This is why price gouging is a crime here in the state of California.

What are your thoughts on price gouging and California’s law against it? Is it a good idea to protect people during times of emergency? Is the punishment for the crime appropriate? Let us know wt you think in the comments down below.

california looting laws

What Counts as Looting in California?

california looting laws

Whenever an emergency strikes, people are bound to panic. This is only natural as systems that people have been able to rely on for their day to day lives begin to shut down. This is exactly what is happening as the COVID-19, Corona, Virus pandemic spreads across the world. In response to this virus, many non-essential systems have been shut down to reduce the spread of the disease.

Combine this with the fact that thousands, if not millions, of people have been panic stockpiling all kinds of resources, making it harder for everyone to get even the essentials, a lot of people are scared. For most people, this just means staying at home and avoiding going into public, which is what everyone should be doing anyway.

Unfortunately, there are people out there that see the deserted shopping centers and decide to use that to their advantage. These people figure that if no one is around to stop them, they can do whatever they want without fear of repercussion. However, that is not the case. Law enforcement agencies are still operating and enforcing the law. If they catch anyone looting, there will be consequences.

California’s Different Looting Laws

California state law defines the act of looting as someone committing second-degree burglary within a county or area that is currently experiencing a state of emergency due to natural or man-made disasters. This definition does include the national emergency called in response to the Corona Virus.

The following laws can all be considered looting under California law:

  • Penal Code (PC) 459 Burglary
  • PC 484 Petty Theft
  • PC 487 Grand Theft

Burglary is defined as the act of entering a house or any other building with the intent of committing larceny. In other words, burglary is the act of going into a building to steal something. First-degree burglary occurs when a person enters a residential building. Second-degree burglary occurs when a person enters a commercial building.

Petty theft is defined as wrongfully taking someone else’s property that is valued at less than $950. Grand theft is the same, except the value of the items exceeds $950.

The difference between burglary and theft is that burglary is entering a place with the intent to steal something. Theft is the actual act of stealing something. This means that a person may not be charged with theft if they try and fail to steal something, but they could still be charged with burglary for attempting to do so.

The Penalties of Looting

The penalties for looting are dependent on what particular crime the person committed. When it comes to burglary or grand theft, a person can either be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.

Looting by burglary and looting grand theft have the same consequences. When the crimes are charged as misdemeanors, they come with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.
  • Up to 240 hours of community service.

As a felonies, the crimes comes with:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.
  • Up to 240 hours of community service.

Petty theft looting is always a misdemeanor offense and comes with:

  • Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.
  • Up to 80 hours of community service.

Don’t Be a Looter

Stealing is never a good idea. However, doing it during an emergency is especially horrible. People already have enough problems to deal with during an emergency, such as the spreading of a virus. They shouldn’t have to worry about people looting their homes and stores. This is why the act of looting is illegal, and it is taken very seriously.

What are your thoughts on California’s looting laws and looters in general? Do you think the laws are enough of a deterrent or should the consequences be more severe? Maybe you think the laws are too harsh as is. Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

california stalking laws

What Counts as Stalking in California?

california stalking laws

In healthy relationships, there is an equal amount of love and adoration from both parties involved. Unfortunately, not every relationship is a healthy one. There are a lot of one-sided relationships out there that are not good for either parties involved. What can be incredibly upsetting, and even scary, is when a person is way more into a person than that person is in to them.

In extreme cases, the person who is infatuated with the other could become a stalker. Having a stalker can be truly terrifying and can cause a person fear for their own safety. Due to this fact, the act of stalking someone is illegal here in the state of California. Anyone caught stalking another person will face legal consequences.

Stalking Explained

Being stalked by someone can be very upsetting, even traumatizing, which is why it is illegal to stalk someone in California. Penal Code (PC) 646.9 defines stalking as:

“Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking.”

That is a whole lot of legal speak that can be a bit confusing, so let’s break it down a little bit.

  • Willfully – For something to be considered stalking, a person has to willfully choose to commit the act, which means he or she did it one purpose.
  • Maliciously – Maliciously means that the person intentionally did a wrongful act with the intent of disturbing, annoying, or injuring the other person.
  • Harassment – Harassment means acting in a way that annoys, alarms, torments, or terrorizes another individual.
  • Credible Threat – A credible threat is one that the threatened individual would have reason to believe the person could carry out, and therefore causes the victim to fear for their safety, or the safety of their immediate family. The threat can be made verbally, in writing, or electronically.
  • Immediate Family – Means spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, or any person who lives in the same house as the person in question.

Knowing all of that helps one understand the legal definition of stalking. Basically, if a person knowingly bothers another individual to the point where they begin to fear for the safety of themselves or their loved ones, that person is guilty of stalking in California.

The Penalties for Stalking

Under PC 646.9, stalking is a wobbler offense. This means that anyone found guilty of the crime of stalking can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the charges is dependent on the facts of each particular case. Stalking charges will always be charged as a felony if the accused has been charged with stalking before, even if it was a different person, or if the stalker violated a restraining order.

With misdemeanor charges, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

With felony charges, a person faces:

  • Up to 5 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Felony probation.

On top of these charges, the victim of the stalking can also sue the stalker for damages due to the stalking. This can add up to a lot more money that the accused would have to pay.

Felony stalking charges can also negatively affect a person’s immigration status.

Everyone Just Wants to Be Safe

Everyone just wants to feel safe, and being constantly followed and harassed can be very disturbing. Being stalked can cause a person to worry all day, every day. Not just for their own safety, but for the safety of the people that they care about most. This constant worrying is bad for a person health, both mental and physical. This is why the act of stalking is illegal in California.

If a person is ever being harassed like this, they need to contact their local authorities. Doing so can get the stalker arrested and allow the person to feel safe once again.

What do you think of California’s stalking definition and law? Are the consequences of the crime fair, too much, or too little? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

california car seat laws

What Are California’s Car Seat Laws?

california car seat laws

The goal of every good parent is to keep their child safe. Unfortunately, this task is a lot easier said than done thanks to all of the different ways a child can get hurt. At times, it can feel a bit overwhelming for a parent, but they never give up. Their child is counting on them after all.

One area where kids need extra protection is when they are riding in a car. People often forget how dangerous driving can be, until there is an accident. In order to help keep kids safe, parents are required to put their kids into car seats while driving them anywhere. Failing to do so could lead to their child being severely hurt, and to the parent facing legal troubles.

The Rules on Car Seats

This can come as a shock to some people, but seat belts can actually cause more harm than good to little ones in a car. This is due to the fact that built-in seat belts on cars are designed to keep adults, not children, safe in the event of an accident. This is why car seats are so important, they are designed for children and babies.

The problem is, figuring out when to move a child up to the next level of seating can be a bit confusing. This matter is only made more stressful due to the fact that the state of California has a law requiring children to be properly restrained while riding in vehicles. This means that getting the car seat wrong could result in the parent paying a fine.

Vehicle Code (VC) 27360 is California’s child restraint law. This law dictates what kind of car seat a child needs at what stage in their life.

For starters, all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat. The only exception to this is if the child weighs over 40 pounds or is taller than 40 inches. Basically, once a child reaches any one of those limits, they can move on to a forward-facing car seat.

Experts recommend keeping kids in rear-facing car seats for as long as possible due to their safety, but parents should always be aware of the car seats weight and height limits, which typically top out at 40 pounds and 40 inches. This is why kids are allowed to be moved up to forward-facing car seats when they reach those sizes, even if they aren’t over the age of 2 yet.

In California, children have to be in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old, or are 4’9”. Again, experts recommend keeping a child in a car seat or booster seat until they max out the weight and height restrictions of the seat.

To simplify things, a parent just needs to follow the weight and height guidelines for the car seats. Keep a child in a rear-facing car seat until they are too big for it, then move them to a forward-facing seat until they eventually outgrow that. From there, move them to a booster seat until they outgrow that, and then they should be big enough to wear a regular seat belt.

The Penalties for Not Using a Car Seat

Aside from the obvious fact that children will be more likely to be severely injured in the event of an accident when they are not properly restrained, a parent could face a nice little ticket for not buckling up their child properly.

When a driver fails to properly restrain their child in a vehicle, they will face the following:

  • A $100 fine for a first offence.
  • A $250 fine for any subsequent offense.
  • 1 point on their driving record.

It is important to remember that the prices listed above are only the base prices. Thanks to all of the additional fines, fees, and assessments that California has tacked on, the ticket will really cost a lot more than those prices.

While the singular point on the driving record doesn’t sound all that bad, a person needs to remember that if a driver accumulates too many points within a certain amount of years, they can be labeled a negligent driver and have their license suspended or even revoked altogether.

Buckle Up Your Kids

Car seats and the California laws surrounding them may seem complicated and confusing, but they are actually pretty straight forward. As long as a parent follows the guidelines for height and weight limits on their child’s seat, they won’t have to worry. Their child will be safe in the car and they will be safe from getting a ticket for not properly restraining a child in a vehicle.

What do you think about the state’s child seat laws? Are they a good idea to help keep kids safe, or do they over complicate things? What about the penalties for failing to use a car seat, are they fair or too much? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Should Minors Be Banned By Law from Having a Cellphone?

teenager cell phone ban

Technology has become such an integral part of everyone’s day to day lives. Most people use some form of smart technology every single day of their life from computers to cellphones. Most adults are well aware of how amazing and helpful this kind of technology is after spending their childhoods without it. This causes many adults to say the age old adage: Kids today don’t know how good they’ve got it.

In a way, this is very true. Kids today don’t have to go to libraries and rent books to write a paper thanks to the internet. They don’t have to go to the local video rental store to pick out a movie to watch. They don’t even have to rewind their movies when they’re done! The internet also makes it possible for kids to constantly stay connected with their friends and peers. Sadly, this last benefit does seem to be a bit problematic.

Social media can be nice, but it can also be addicting and detrimental to a person’s mental health. This is especially true for kids, which is why one lawmaker in Vermont has proposed a change how minors use cellphones.

The Problem with Cellphones

Cellphones grant a person access to the internet, and therefore the world, whenever they want it. This can be very beneficial in some instances and troublesome in others. For instance, cellphones can be very distracting while driving. If a driver looks at a phone while behind the wheel, they are paying less attention to the road in front of them. This makes it more likely for them to cause an accident with deadly consequences. This is especially true for teens who are more easily distracted.

Another issue with cellphones is that not only do they give a person constant access to the world, they also give the world constant access to the person. Thanks to social media and phone notifications, it can be hard for a person to get away from some people for a while without abandoning the phone altogether for a few hours. This is hard enough for an adult to do, since social media is addicting. Just think of how hard it is for kids to put down their phones.

When kids don’t put down their phones, they can get bombarded by messages from friends and peers at school. Sometimes, these messages aren’t nice or friendly at all. Sadly, there have been many cases where bullying at school has followed a child home through their phone and pushed that kid to the brink where they make a decision they can never come back from.

A Vermont Senator’s Response

In an effort to reduce teen driving accidents and suicides caused by cellphone usage, one Vermont lawmaker, Senator John Rodgers, has introduced a bill that would restrict cellphone usage amongst minors. The bill states that people under the age of 21 are not mature enough to own guns, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol so they are also not mature enough to own and use cellphones.

The major talking point about this bill is how online bullying through social media, which can be accessed on cellphones, can lead to suicide. Apparently, in Vermont the legislature has recently been talking about suicide prevention and how best to protect and provide aide to people who need it.

Sen. Rodgers stated that he doesn’t expect the bill to get passed and that he probably wouldn’t vote for it himself. As a supporter of the Second Amendment, he seems to have presented the bill more as a way of showing how cellphones can be more dangerous than guns.

Should Minors Have Cellphones?

It is hard to deny how addicting cellphones can be. Even as adults who might have grown up without cellphones or social media, it can sometimes be hard to log out or put the device down. The sad thing is that adults have more self-control than minors, and so what is addicting for us is very addicting for minors. This is why kids are often glued to their phones.

This kind of behavior can be problematic for minors by exposing them to a whole lot of negative things that they may not be ready to deal with on their own. This is why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing online. They also need to make sure that their kids know that they can always come and talk to them about anything. Failing to do so could have disastrous results that no parent should ever have to deal with.

What do you think of this proposed bill in Vermont? Is it a good idea to prevent minors, anyone under 21, from having a cellphone, or is it a terrible and impractical one? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

california road rage laws

How Dangerous Is Road Rage?

california road rage laws

Ask anyone who has ever driven a car before, and they will likely tell you that they’ve experienced road rage before. Anyone who says otherwise is either lying or doesn’t know what road rage is. For those unaware, road rage is a driver’s uncontrolled anger that is usually caused by another motorist’s acts and results in aggressive or violent behavior. So, if a driver cuts off another driver, who then begins cursing and flipping off the other driver that is an act of road rage.

Since every driver experiences some level of road rage from time to time, one might expect that it isn’t that big of a deal. However, that is not the case. Road rage is dangerous. When people get angry, especially that angry, they don’t always think straight and can make very bad decisions. There are far too many news stories of people getting hurt or even killed due to road rage.

Road Rage Can Kill

In 2016, AAA conducted a survey of American drivers that found that 80% of drivers experienced significant anger, frustration, or road rage while driving. That is a whole lot of people getting upset behind the wheel. If a person were to look at California Highway Patrol (CHP) 2018 statistics, they would find that around two thirds of all fatal car accidents in Southern California were caused by road rage incidents.

Recently, two separate driving incidents claimed four lives. In one incident, a woman was run over by her car. In another, a car full of teens crashed into a tree, killing three of the passengers. In both incidents, road rage is blamed for the accident.

In the first accident, a female driver and her passenger accidentally bumped into a motorcycle driver. The two vehicles pulled over near an apartment complex where one of the women exited the car and began arguing with the motorcyclist. As the driver began to drive away, she somehow fell out of the car and was pinned between her car and a tree, she died of her injuries. The passenger than fled the scene with the vehicle and was later arrested for hit and run.

In the other incident, a man has been charged with homicide after he intentionally rammed his car into another vehicle. The act forced the second vehicle off of the road and into a tree. The 6 teenage passengers in the vehicle were trapped in the car until emergency officials arrived. 3 of the teens died to injuries sustained in the accident. The man fled the scene and was later arrested with hit and run charges, which were eventually changed to homicide. It is unclear why he rammed the vehicle off the road, but officials suspect road rage.

What Can Road Rage Get You Charged With

Road rage itself is not a crime. After all, a person can’t be prohibited from getting mad while driving. However, what is illegal is acting on that anger and trying to hurt other people. There are a few different ways that a person can get into trouble with the law if they give into road rage.

  • Reckless driving: California Vehicle Code (VC) 23103 makes it illegal for a person to drive a vehicle on a highway with wanton disregard for the safety of people and property. If a drivers swerves in a threatening manner, or even speeds to try to block someone else, they are driving recklessly because of road rage.
  • Assault: California Penal Code (PC) 240 makes it illegal for a person threaten to cause great bodily harm to another individual. The person doesn’t actually have to attack another individual to be guilty of assault, they just have to threaten to do so. This can occur if a person gets out of their vehicle and starts threatening another driver.
  • Assault with a deadly weapon: As one can guess, this is similar to assault, but the person makes the threats while brandishing a deadly weapon. For those unaware, a car is considered a deadly weapon here in California. This means threatening to run someone over with a car is illegal under PC 245. Pulling out a gun is illegal under this law, and PC 417, which prohibits a person from brandishing a firearm.
  • Battery: This occurs when a person actually attacks someone. This is made illegal under PC 242. This can occur when a person actually rams their car into another vehicle, or when they get into a physical fight with another driver.
  • Hit and Run: Under VC 20001 and VC 20002, a hit and run occurs whenever a vehicle damages property or injures a person and the driver then flees the scene instead of sticking around and administering aid. So if a person rams their car into another vehicle and then flees the scene, they could face hit and run charges, amongst other things.

Don’t Give In to Road Rage

Everyone gets a little frustrated when they are driving from time to time. That is normal. However, when a person gets frustrated, they should not act out because of that anger. Instead, they should remain calm and let the incident go. If they don’t, the anger can get worse until the person does something that they might regret later.

If you want to check out some tips on how to avoid or manage road rage, click here.

Remember, everyone driving on the road is trying to get somewhere, and they want to get their safely. Instead of getting angry and making things worse, try to forgive and be more considerate while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Doing so could help save lives.

Do you have any tips for how to deal with road rage? If so, share them in the comments down below and help other drivers keep a level head behind the wheel.

what to do about a stray dog

What to Do About Stray Animals

what to do about a stray dog

Most pet owners are very good at what they do and truly love the animal in their care. All they want is what is best for their furry companion. Unfortunately, not everyone is like that. Some people get animals simply to have one, and once they realize how much work and money it takes to properly care for an animal, they abandon it. Sometimes the people move and don’t want to take the animal with it.

There are all kinds of ways that an animal can end up as a stray. When people encounter stray animals on the street, they aren’t always sure what to do. Do they just ignore the animal, but what if it walks up to them? Should they report the animal to animal control? An animal lover may want to try and help the poor critter. However, doing so could get a person hurt. This is why it is so important for a person to know what to do when encountering a stray animal.

How to Handle Stray Animals

When it comes to dealing with stray animals, a person needs to be cautious, they never know how an animal will behave. Some animals living on the street may be kind, others may be far more aggressive. While rare, some strays may even be carrying diseases such as rabies.

Experts recommend that people should never approach unfamiliar animals. Instead, when encountering an animal for the first time, a person should remain calm, still, and quiet. Never run away or make loud noise. Doing so could scare the animal and make it more aggressive. If the animal approaches the person, they should let it sniff them and avoid making direct eye contact.

Never approach an animal that is eating, sleeping, or caring for babies as they can be more defensive and aggressive in these situations.

If the animal knocks the person to the ground, then they need to curl up into a ball and cover their ears and neck.

If an animal is behaving strangely or aggressively, they should report it to animal control. Alert them of what the animal looks like and where it is located so the professionals can try to deal with it.

California Animal Abuse Laws

Here in California, a pet owner is expected to take care of their animal. Most people think of abuse as actively hurting someone or something. However, as far as the state of California is concerned, animal abuse also includes neglecting the animal. This means that if a person abandons their animal, they could face consequences under the state’s animal abuse law.

Penal Code (PC) 597 can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case and the person’s criminal record. As a misdemeanor, the crime comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

A felony charge comes with:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $20,000.

Don’t Abandon Animals

The proper thing for a person to do who no longer wants an animal is to either try to rehome it or give it to an animal shelter. While trying to rehome the animal requires more work, it is the cheaper option. Just try reaching out to friends and family members to see if they, or anyone they know, is looking for an animal. Also try posting about the animal on social media accounts.

If that fails, then a person should look into surrendering an animal to a shelter. This does cost some money, but at least the animal will be cared for and safe.

When it comes to approaching stray animals, it is recommended that people don’t do that. Just give the animal its space and if it does approach a person, they should be cautious. What do you think of California’s animal abuse laws and their consequences? Do they match, or do the consequences need to be readjusted? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

driving with dog in lap california laws

Is It Legal to Drive With an Animal on Your Lap?

driving with dog in lap california laws

Pretty much every pet owner out there has a furry companion that they would do everything they can for. Some pet owners love their critters so much that they take them everywhere they go. This seems like a harmless and fun way for a person to spend time with their beloved companion, however it can be dangerous and even illegal in some states.

Laws from Across the Country

Across the nation, different states have different rules about how pets can be transported in cars. This can make driving through different states with a furry companion that much harder. Any driver looking to take their pet somewhere, especially on road trips, needs to be aware of these laws. If they aren’t, they could inadvertently end up in trouble with the law.

Some states, such as Hawaii and Arizona, have specific laws that make it illegal to drive with a pet in the person’s lap or in the driver’s immediate vicinity. Other states such as Maine and Connecticut can use their state’s distracted driving laws against drivers with pets on their lap.

The state of New Jersey takes things a step further. In this state, officers can stop any driver who improperly transports an animal, such as driving with the animal in their lap, and charge the person with animal cruelty. A person found guilty of this can face fines ranging from $250 to $1,000 dollars and can even face up to 6 months of jail time.

California Law

Here in California, the laws surrounding the transportation of animals are surprisingly lax. The state only has one law regarding the transportation of animals in vehicles, and it applies to pick-up trucks.

Vehicle Code (VC) 23117 states that no driver should transport an animal in the back of a vehicle in a space intended for any load unless the space is enclosed or has side and tail racks that are at least 46 inches high, has installed means of preventing the animal from getting out, or the animal is in a cage.

Basically, this means an animal can’t be carried in the bed of a truck unless the sides of the truck are higher than 46 inches, the animal is tied to the bed of the truck, or the animal is in a cage of some sort. This means that as long as an animal is in an enclosed space, such as the interior of the car, they are being transported safely and correctly.

This law does not apply to the transportation of livestock or the transportation of a ranch dog for ranching/farming purposes.

The consequences of breaking this law for the first time come with a fine ranging from $50 to $100. A second or any subsequent offense within a year will earn a person a fine ranging from $75 to $200.

Why These Laws Exist

The important fact to remember is that these laws exist for safety reasons. Transporting the animal safely keeps not only the critter safe, but the driver as well. A pet owner wants to make sure that in the event of an accident, their companion stays safe. This means keeping it safe and secure in the vehicle.

On top of the pet’s safety, there is the driver’s safety to consider as well. Everyone knows how dangerous distracted driving can be. What people may not realize is just how many things can be considered distracted driving besides using cellphones. Having to deal with a pet, especially one that is on the driver’s lap, can be very distracting. If the driver becomes too engrossed in whatever their pet is doing in their car, they could cause an accident.

What do you think of all of these different takes on laws surrounding the transportation of animal? Which state has your favorite law and which one takes things too far? Does California need to update its own animal transportation and distracted driving laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

california speeding laws

Speeding Is a Big Deal

california speeding laws

There are so many different laws here in California that it is practically impossible for a single person to remember every law within the state. However, there are some laws that everyone knows about and yet choose to ignore. There are a few select laws out there that people break all of the time, some even daily, because they don’t view it as a big deal.

A perfect example of this are speed limits. There are many drivers out there, especially here in California that view speed limits as suggestions. Some people view the limits as the slowest possible speed they will go. For the others, anyone going the speed limit is driving too slow. Still, speeding is illegal and incredibly dangerous, and should be avoided.

California Speeding Law

Here in California, speeding is made illegal under Vehicle Code (VC) 22350. This law makes it illegal for a person to drive faster than is considered safe for the circumstances. The exact wording is:

“No person shall drive a vehicle on the highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of person or property.”

In basic terms, this means that a person cannot drive at speeds on a road that a normal person would view as fast or dangerous. This is especially true on smaller or more crowded roads. This also includes when the weather makes the road dangerous through rain, snow, wind, and fog.

A driver is expected to exercise the proper caution and restraint needed in different situations. Just because a road has a certain speed limit does not mean a driver has to do that speed limit all the time. Sometimes the weather may require slowing down.

Consequences of Speeding in California

There are three different consequences a person can face when they are caught speeding by law enforcement:

  • They can receive a fine and have their license suspended.
  • Receive points on their driver’s record.
  • Be held negligent for any accidents that occur due to the speeding.

When it comes to fines and license suspension, the exact amounts depend on how fast the person was going. If the speeds were under 100 miles per hour (MPH), then the person will face the following:

  • $35 for 1 to 15 MPH over the limit.
  • $70 for 16 to 25 MPH over the limit.
  • $100 for 26 MPH over the limit.

If the speeds where over 100 MPH, then the person will face the following for a first time offense:

  • A base fine of $500.
  • 30 day license suspension.

A second offense of driving over 100 MPH in 3 years comes with:

  • A base fine of $750.
  • 6 month license suspension.

A third offense of driving over 100 MPH in 5 years comes with:

  • A base fine of $1,000.
  • 1 year license suspension.

On top of the fines, a person will also receive a point on their driver’s license. Acquiring too many points within a time period can lead to a person having their license suspended. If a driver gets:

  • 4 points in 12 months,
  • 6 points in 24 months, or
  • 8 points in 36 months,

Then they will be designated a negligent driver and have their driving license suspended.

Lastly, since driving at excessive speeds makes it more likely for a person to cause an accident, drivers who are caught speeding will be held responsible for any accidents that they caused. This means they will also have to face the consequences of any accidents that result from the speeding.

Don’t Speed While Driving

Many drivers fail to realize just how dangerous and problematic speeding can be. Speeding does increase the chances of a driver causing an accident. This is especially true in inclement weather, which is why the state law mentions that drivers need to adjust their speed to match their conditions. If a driver wants to avoid any trouble and fines, then they need to follow posted speed limits and adjust those speeds to match conditions. By doing so, a driver reduces the chances of causing an accident and getting a ticket.

What do you think of speeding and the state’s laws on it? Are the consequences for speeding fair or too extreme? Let us know in the comments down below.

california idling laws

Is is a a Good Idea to Warm Up You Car When it’s Cold?

california idling laws

When the weather grows colder, people begin to do everything that they can to avoid being cold for any length of time. They spend more time indoors, bundle up in extra layers before venturing outside, and even warm up their cars before getting into them.

Many people view leaving a car idling as a great way to keep themselves warm during the coldest part of the year. Unfortunately, this practice can have several adverse consequences. Leaving a car idling to warm up can actually be bad for the vehicle, is a great way to get it stolen, and can even be illegal here in California.

Cold Idling Can Be Damaging

In the thick of winter, the common wisdom is that when you are gearing up to take your car out in the cold weather, you should start up your engine, and let it idle to warm up. It sounds like a great idea, but can actually be damaging to modern cars.

The concept of warming up the engine before driving originally came around with cars that had carburetors. On these older cars, the carburetors created a mixture of gasoline and air to dump into the engine. This method works fine at certain temperatures, but when things get cold, the mixture ratio needs to be modified to remain efficient.

Unlike modern cars with fuel injection, these older cars couldn’t automatically compensate for colder temperatures. This lead to people needing to let their cars warm up to normal operating temps before being able to drive anywhere. Nowadays, cars can adjust the mixture on their own to run efficiently.

The fastest way to get a car warmed up is to just drive it. When a car is idling in the cold, some of the gas in the engine can begin to coat the interior pieces and remove the oil that is supposed to be there to help it run smoothly. This means the parts rub together, cause friction and begin to wear down a little bit faster, making it very important to get the engine warmed up, and the fastest way to do that is to drive it.

Cold Idling Can Be Dangerous

Aside from being damaging to a car, leaving a car idling can also be dangerous. Typically, the only thing keeping thieves from stealing a car is the fact that they need a key to get in and get it moving. If a person leaves their car idling in their driveway, what is to stop someone from walking up to the car, hoping in, and driving off with it? Even if the car is locked while idling, all a person has to do is break a window and then drive off. That is why a car should not be left idling in a driveway or on the street.

Some people may try to get around this by having the car idle in the garage, which is dangerous for a different reason. Cars burn gasoline to create their power, which creates carbon dioxide (CO2) gas as a byproduct. This gas is toxic to humans, and if left running in a closed off room like a garage, the gas will fill the garage and begin seeping into the house, which can lead to death. This is part of the reason why houses are supposed to have CO2 sensors in them.

Idling Can Be Illegal

Lastly, leaving cars idling to warm up can be illegal in certain circumstances. This is typically done in an effort to reduce carbon emissions across the state. California has enacted laws that make it illegal for commercial diesel vehicles to be left idling for more than five minutes. Violations of this law can result in fines, some of which are very hefty.

While the state laws primarily apply to commercial diesel vehicles, some counties and cities have their own anti-idling laws. These laws are typically enacted either to protect people from having their car stolen, or to protect the environment. Basically, before anyone leaves their car idling to warm up, they should make sure that it isn’t illegal where they live.

It’s Best Not to Idle

Dealing with the cold can always be a bit bitter and unpleasant, which is why people often prefer to let their car warm up before driving off in it. However, doing this can be a bad idea for several reasons. It is unnecessary and damaging to modern cars with fuel injection motors. It can be dangerous as it opens a person up to having their car stolen, or filling their house with CO2. Lastly, it can be illegal in certain areas and under certain circumstances.

What do you think of letting a car idle to warm up? Do you still think it is a good idea or not? What about California’s anti-idling laws? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.