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2014 New California Laws to Crackdown on Hit-and-run Drivers, Teenages Who Text and Give Bicyclists More Space

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Hit-and-run drivers, teenage drivers, bicyclists and DUI drivers are addressed under several new laws in California in 2014 — file photo

Roadways Should be Safer Under These New California Laws for 2014

Police will be armed with several new laws this year aimed at making California roads safer for motorists and bicyclists and everyone sharing our roadways in 2014 and beyond.

HIT AND RUN DRIVERS

It’s going to be more difficult for hit-and-run drivers to avoid punishment starting New Year’s Day as this new California law extends the time limit to prosecute these motorists who flee the scene of an injury or fatal accident.

Indeed, under AB 184, the statute of limitations to file a criminal complaint against hit-and-run drivers has been extended to three years and they may be prosecuted for up to one year after the person is identified by police as the suspect.

The new law was proposed by Assemblyman Mike Gatto last year. Gatto, whose district includes Burbank, Glendale, Little Armenia, La Crescenta, Los Feliz and Montrose spearheaded the new law in an effort to help victims obtain justice.

“These hit-and-run drivers are often unlicensed, uninsured and intoxicated,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, a personal injury attorney. “This law is long overdue and necessary to help assist victims of these crimes who are hurt or the families of those killed by these cowards.”

DUI BLOOD TESTS:

A recent law that went into operation on Sept. 20, 2013, allows law enforcement officers the ability to issue a search warrant to conduct a blood test on an individual suspected of DUI driving.

Under SB 717 DeSaulnier, police may now draw blood in a “reasonable, medically approved manner” to prove a misdemeanor DUI if the person refuses the test.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a non-profit that has served more than 61,000 victims and survivors of drunk and drugged crashes, some 28 people will die every day in a crash resulting from the actions of a drunk driver.

“MADD statistics show that car accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers,” adds Seegmiller, a supporter of MADD and its mission. “Also, roughly 25 percent of all DUI car accidents involve an underage driver.”

TEENS AND TEXTING

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, teenage drivers under 18 years old will no longer be permitted to use voice-recognition devices such as the Apple Siri to text or send messages while driving.

Under California law, drivers may use the hands-free mode to talk on cell phones while behind the wheel, but this new law will also expand the law to prohibit all drivers from using wireless devices to write, send, or read a texts.

According to the most recent statistics compiled in 2010 by State Farm Insurance there were 12,000 deaths and 330,000 injuries reported from 636,000 accidents in the United States due to distracted driving.

“Drivers are more distracted than ever on our roadways,” Seegmiller said. “Despite laws prohibiting cell phone use without the hands-free mode, drivers continue to use them behind the wheel.”

Bicyclists Get 3-foot Passing Distance — file photo

MOTORISTS PASSING BICYCLES

A new 2014 California law affecting all motorists aims to make roads safer for bicyclists by providing a 3-foot passing distance.

Under (AB 1371), which takes effect on September 16, 2014, drivers passing a bicyclist must leave a 3-foot space between them and a rider.

However, if it is impossible to allow this space, the driver must slow down to a “reasonable and prudent speed.” Motorists who fail to adhere to the new law could face a fine whether there is an accident or not.

“Bicyclists are the most vulnerable people on our roadways as they ride alongside motorists,” said Seegmiller. “Many of these types of accidents also involve hit-and-run drivers who leave the cyclist to die in the streets or face huge medical bills for severe injuries alone. This law will hopefully cut down on bike crashes this year and for many to come.”

Fatal and injury bicycle accidents have been on the rise in recent years, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Report between 2007 and 2011. Deaths grew from 125 in 2007 to 131 in 2008, 109 in 2009, 111 in 2010 and 142 in 2011. Bicyclists injured in accident during the 5-year period were as follows: 10,521 in 2007; 11,683 in 2008; 11,993 in 2009; 12,591 in 2010; and 13,567 in 2011.

PERSONAL INJURY LAW FIRM

For more than 32 years, The Seegmiller Law Firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought to win justice on behalf of clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, medical malpractice and more.  The firm has offices throughout California as well as Las Vegas, Nevada.

Contact us for a free case evaluation at 855-275-9378.

You will never pay a fee unless we win your case.

(Copyright ©2013 The Seegmiller Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

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LAGUNA HILLS: Bicyclist Peter Tomaino, 82, Struck and Killed by Driver on Paseo De Valencia

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

LAGUNA HILLS, California (Dec. 26, 2013) — Peter Tomaino, 82, of Laguna Hills was killed Tuesday afternoon when his bicycle was struck by a car in an accident on Paseo De Valencia, just south of Alicia Parkway, according to a press release by the Orange County Sheriff Coroner.

About 1:58 p.m., Mr. Tomaino was leaving the Ralph’s parking lot at the Alicia Town Center when he was struck by a motorist.

According to bikinginla.com, his death is the 85th fatal bicycle accident so far this year in Southern California.

“Bicyclists are the most vulnerable people on our roadways and motorists must slow down and leave enough space when passing these vehicles,” said Attorney West Seegmiller. “It’s heartbreaking to hear of these types of accidents as they are so preventable.”

(Copyright ©2013 The Seegmiller Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

 

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Categories : Bicycle Accident News
Tags : December 24 2013 bicycle accident Laguna Hills on Paseo De Valencia and Alicia Parkway, fatal bicycle accident Laguna Hills California, Laguna Hills bicycle accident lawyer, Laguna Hills Bicyclist Killed in Accident Christmas Eve 2013, Orange County bicycle accident attorney, Paseo De Valencia bicycle accident, Peter Tomaino Laguna Hills

SANTA ROSA: Bicyclist Suffers Major Injuries After Hit by Car on Stony Point Road

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Bike Rider Suffers Major Injuries in Accident with Car — file photo

Cyclist Injured in Crash with Nissan Altima on Stony Point Road

SANTA ROSA, California (Dec. 18, 2013) – A driver struck and critically injured a bicyclist Wednesday morning on Stony Point Road near W. Sierra Avenue in this small community about 55 miles north of San Francisco, according to a dispatch by the California Highway Patrol.

About 6:25 a.m. this morning, CHP officials responded to the scene of the bicycle accident and reported that the driver of a light green or grey Nissan Altima had struck a bike rider who was suffering from major injuries. Paramedics were called to the scene of the collision to transport the victim to a nearby hospital.

Traffic was moving slowly due to a partial lane closure. Police were on the scene to investigate the collision to determine liability for the accident.

“Police will collect evidence and speak to all parties involved and witnesses in an effort to piece together what exactly happened here and determine who is liable,” said Attorney West Seegmiller. “My prayers go out to the bicyclist injured as well as anyone else who was hurt in this accident.”

Anyone injured in a traffic accident should seek immediate medical attention as well as legal advice to determine if they have a case against a negligent driver.  For more than 32 years, The Seegmiller Law Firm has helped people throughout California put their lives back together after an unexpected car accident. Contact us today for a free legal consultation at 1-855-275-9378.

(Copyright ©2013 The Seegmiller Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

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Categories : Bicycle Accident News
Tags : December 18 2013 bicycle accident Stony Point Road in Santa Rosa California, Santa Rosa bicycle accident attorney, Sierra Avenue bicycle accident, Stony Point Road and Sierra Avenue bicycle accident, Stony Point Road bicycle accident

COACHELLA: Man, 70, Bicyclist Killed in Car Accident on Van Buren and Avenue 48

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013

COACHELLA, California (Nov. 20, 2013) — Ruben De La Cruz Miramontes, 70, of Mexico was identified by the coroner as the bicyclist who was struck by a driver and killed Tuesday night in a car accident at the intersection of Van Buren Boulevard and  Avenue 48, according to a press release by the Riverside County Fire Department.

About 5:11 p.m.,  CAL FIRE/Riverside County Firefighters reported to the bicycle accident with a car at the intersection, but the man riding the bicycle was pronounced dead at the scene due to major injuries sustained in the accident.

Police closed down the roadway for several hours to investigate the evidence in an effort to determine how the accident happened. A police report will be issued after they have completed their work and typically they will assign liability for the fatal crash.

Anyone who witnessed this bicycle accident is asked to contact Riverside police.

–The Seegmiller Law Firm

Categories : Bicycle Accident News
Tags : Coachella fatal accident bicycle, fatal bicycle accident coachella california, November 19 fatal bicycle accident Coachella, , Ruben De La Cruz Miramontes Mexico

VICTORVILLE: Fatal Bicycle Accident on SR-247 at Post Office Road

Thursday, November 7th, 2013

Man Killed in bicycle accident on 247 at Post Office Road– file photo

Police Investigate Circumstances to Determine if Driver is Involved in Fatal Bike Accident

VICTORVILLE, California (Nov. 7, 2013) – Police are trying to determine whether a hit-and-run driver struck and killed a man on a bicycle Thursday morning after they found the man in the roadway at State Route 247 and Post Office Road, according to a dispatch by the California Highway Patrol.

About 8 a.m., CHP officers reported the man may have been hit by a car or fell and contacted the Victorville Sheriff’s Office and the coroner department.

“Bicyclists are especially vulnerable to injury as they share the road with motorists on our busy streets here in Victorville,” said Attorney West Seegmiller. “Police will need to conduct an investigation into this matter and determine if there was a driver involved and hopefully identify the person if that is the case.”

(Copyright ©2013 The Seegmiller Law Firm. All Rights Reserved.)

Categories : Bicycle Accident News
Tags : San Bernardino Bicycle Accident Lawyer, Victorville bicycle accident attorney, Victorville fatal bicycle accident, Victorville fatal bicycle accident 247 and Post Office Road
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