Additional California Laws and Rules
In addition to traffic rules and safe driving techniques, you are likely to find questions about specific California Laws and Rules on the practice tests and on your DMV written test. The purpose of these questions is to make sure you have studied the California Driver Handbook in detail. It is a good idea to pay special attention to the chapter titled “Additional Driving Laws/Rules”. You will find the chapter at the end of the Driver Handbook.
There are several bullets on Things You Must Not Do and Things You Must Do. Make sure you understand all of them.
Below are five of the most important laws and rules specific for California.
Smoking in Your Vehicle
Since 2008, California has a law that makes it unlawful to smoke in a motor vehicle when a person up to 17 years old is present. The offense carries a fine of up to $100. The law aims to prevent the negative health effects of secondhand smoke. Levels of secondhand smoke caused by one person smoking in a car can make the air inside the vehicle hazardous for breathing, especially for small children.
In California, it is also illegal to leave a child up to 6 years old unattended in a motor vehicle. If left in a car, the child must be supervised by a person 12 years of age or older. In addition to this law, California prohibits leaving children and/or animals in a hot vehicle. Learn more about leaving children unattended in a vehicle and heatstroke.
Take Care of Animals
Leaving an animal in a vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to heat is not only cruel, it is also illegal. Dumping and/or abandoning animals on a highway are specifically against the law. Such a crime is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, 6 months in jail, or both. One of few questions on the California DMV test, where you may be asked about the consequences of a violation.
Leaving an animal to be without proper care and attention anywhere else than on a highway is a misdemeanor in California.
Do Not Block the View
Remember, you should not hang objects on the inside rear-view mirror or put signs or stickers on the front windshield. Stickers are permitted in certain specified locations only. These locations include a small square on either the passenger’s side windshield lower corner or the lower corner of the rear window. You may also use a small space located in the center uppermost portion of your windshield for an electronic toll payment device. Other stickers or objects on the front windshield are prohibited.
Don’t Use a Monitor Displaying Videos
If someone is using a monitor to watch videos, make sure the monitor isn’t visible to the driver.
In California, you cannot drive a vehicle equipped with a video monitor, if the monitor is visible to the driver and displays videos or TV. A monitor visible to the driver may not display anything other than vehicle information, global mapping displays, an external music player, or satellite radio information.