New Laws Affecting Drivers


MORE ROOM FOR BICYCLISTS: Drivers must give cyclists a 3-foot clearing when passing or, when that clearance isn’t possible, slow down and only pass when there’s enough room. Starting Sept. 16, 2014, passing too close to a bicyclist could result in a fine for the driver, whether there was a crash or not.

TEXTING AND DRIVING: Drivers under the age of 18 are not allowed to use voice recognition software, like Apple’s “Siri,” to write, send or read a text while behind the wheel.

HYBRIDS RIDING HOV: Low-emission or zero-emission vehicles can continue using high-occupancy vehicle, or carpool, lanes without meeting occupancy requirements until Jan. 1, 2019.

FINDING HIT-AND-RUN DRIVERS: A new bill extends the current three-year statute of limitations for hit-and-run offenses to six years from the date of a crash that causes death or permanent, serious injuries.

REGISTRATION FEE INCREASE: Starting January first counties are authorised increase registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.


DRINKING AND DRIVING:  Colorado motorists who lose their driver’s license for one year or longer because of an alcohol-related driving offense may apply for an interlock-restricted license after 30 days without driving. However, if the person refused a blood alcohol or breath test, they will have to wait 60 days before being allowed to request an interlock-restricted license. Anyone who lost her license for a year or more before Jan. 1, 2014, is eligible to apply for an interlock restricted license on Jan. 1. Regardless of the situation, the person has to keep the interlock on the vehicle for at least two years.


CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING: Joining the growing number of states banning using a handheld cell phone while driving. The state is also increasing the penalties if the use of an electronic device while driving is the cause of an accident.

SPEEDING: The speed limit will be increased from 65 to 70 mph on rural four-lane highways. The catch is that the threshold for excessive speeding has been lowered by 5 mph, meaning more drivers may be charged with excessive speeding. Currently, excessive speeding is 31 mph over the limit, under the new law it will be only 26 mph.


TEEN DRIVING PERMITS: Come January 1st, teens will have to possess their driver’s permits for 12 months before receiving a full driver’s license.Currently teens only have to to drive on a permit for 6 months.


DRIVERS LICENSE RENEWAL:  Drivers in Nevada will see changes to how often they must to renew their driver’s license. For those who were born in an even-numbered year their license will be valid for eight years. Residents must renew in person at a DMV office. Renewals for those born in odd-numbered years will be valid for four years at the next renewal, then eight years at the renewal in 2018 and beyond. But for drivers over 65 renewals will remain at a four-year cycle.


CHILD RESTRAINT LAWS: New Hampshire's new law requires children under 6 years old to use a child restraint until they are at least 57 inches tall, instead of under 55 inches as the existing law states


CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING: Vermont is also instituting a handheld cell phone ban for drivers going through work zones.