Tinted Windows, Texting and Telephones in California: How Minor Infractions can Lead to Major Fines and Rate Hikes!
Often, actions that we take while driving, or aftermarket alterations that we make to our cars, can lead to infractions (and potential related insurance rate increases). But most importantly, many of these actions are highly unsafe!
Whatâ€™s cooler? Driving around with windows tinted so dark people think youâ€™re a visiting dictator, or keeping your auto insurance rates low? Believe it or not, you canâ€™t have both. Itâ€™s against the law to drive with too-dark tints. And though illegal tints may land you a â€œfix-itâ€ ticket (one that wouldnâ€™t affect the points on your record)â€¦ failure to remove those tints and pay the fine could subject you to more serious punishments that could lead to huge insurance rate hikes. According toÂ California Vehicle Code Section 26700-26712:
â€¢ The windshield, front driverâ€™s side, and passengerâ€™s side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting
â€¢ If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides
Texting while Driving
Thinking about texting while driving? The minimum fine for this infraction is aÂ fix-it ticket, but thatâ€™s just the starting point. For multiple offenses, you could end up paying hefty fines.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011, 3,331 people lost their lives as a result of a distracted driver and, if you choose to break the law to text and drive, youâ€™re 23 times more likely to crash. If you cause an accident while texting and driving, the penalties will be more severe than a meager $20 fine.
Cell Phones and Driving
Need to make an important call while driving? Consider a hands-free device. Traditional telephone-to-ear is illegal while driving in California. You can push the speakerphone button, but donâ€™t hold the phone in your hand. Ear buds can be worn, but only in one ear! You may dial phone numbers, but are strongly encouraged to avoid doing so while in motion. Wait for a stoplightâ€¦ weâ€™re always getting stuck at those anyway. For those under 18, donâ€™t touch that phone at all â€“ itâ€™s against the law. Please focus on driving and keep those hands, eyes, and ears off your phone.
Visitors to California: Be aware of the fact that these laws apply to you too, even if your home state has different laws.
Overall, itâ€™s important to remember that distracted driving is dangerous and just not worth it!
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