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5 posts from December 2008

December 23, 2008

New California Vehicle Laws for 2009: Zero Tolerance DUI; No Text Messaging

Chp badge With a new year on the horizon, CHP wants to remind motorists of a handful of new laws that go into effect in 2009.

"The overall safety of the motoring public is our primary concern," says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Not only will these new laws enhance a motorist's safety, many of them are a step toward ridding the roadways of drunk drivers and the tragedy they cause."

Below are the  changes to driving regulations and vehicle equipment.

Texting While Driving (Video)

(SB 28, Simitian) This new law makes it an infraction to write, send, or read text-based communication on an electronic wireless communications device, such as a cell phone, while driving a motor vehicle. Previously this was only illegal for individuals under 18 years of age, but now has been expanded to all drivers.

Driving Under the Influence: Zero Tolerance (Video)

(AB 1165, Maze) This new law prohibits a convicted DUI offender from operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .01 percent or greater while on probation for DUI. The law requires the driver to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a portable breath test to determine the presence of alcohol. If the driver refuses, or if the driver submits and has a BAC of .01 or greater, a citation will be issued, the driver's license will be taken and driving privileges will be suspended. In addition, the vehicle will be impounded.

Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

(SB 1190, Oropeza) This new law reduces the BAC from .20 percent to .15 percent or more at the time of arrest to trigger a requirement for the court to give heightened consideration for the installation of an IID for a first-time offender convicted of DUI of an alcoholic beverage.

Ignition Interlock Devices

(SB 1388, Torlakson) Effective July 2009, this new law transfers authority for the administration of mandatory IID programs from the state courts to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). This law also authorizes the DMV to require any driver convicted of driving with a suspended license due to a prior conviction for DUI to install an IID in any vehicle that the offender owns or operates.

Alcohol-Related Reckless Driving

(AB 2802, Houston) This new law requires the court to order a person convicted of alcohol-related reckless driving to participate in a licensed DUI program for at least nine months, if that person has a prior conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving or DUI within ten years. Additionally, the court is required to revoke the person's probation for the failure to enroll in, participate in, or complete a licensed DUI program.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS)

(SB 1567, Oropeza) This new law allows a portable GPS device to be mounted in a 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the passenger side of the vehicle, or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield on the driver's side. These are the only two locations on a windshield where a GPS device can be mounted. The GPS device can only be used for navigational purposes while the motor vehicle is being operated, and it is required to be mounted outside of an airbag deployment zone.

Motorcycles

(AB 2272, Fuentes) This new law changes the definition of a motorcycle by deleting the weight limitation and deleting the separate definition for electrically powered motorcycles. The law will now allow fully enclosed, three-wheeled vehicles to have access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes regardless of occupancy.

Clean Air Stickers: Misuse and Penalties

(SB 1720, Lowenthal) This new law makes it an infraction for anyone who forges, counterfeits, falsifies, passes, or attempts to pass, acquire possess, sell, or offer for sale a genuine or counterfeit "Clean Air Sticker."

911 Telephone System Abuse

(AB 1976, Benoit) This new law increases the penalties for any person who knowingly uses, or allows the use of, the 911 telephone system for any reason other than an emergency. Those who misuse, or allow the misuse of, the 911 telephone system are guilty of an infraction, and subject to either a written warning or a fine.

Special License Plates

(AB 190, Bass) This new law, when approved by local authorities, allows veterans whose vehicles display plates honoring Pearl Harbor Survivors, Legion of Valor recipients, former American Prisoners of War, Congressional Medal of Honor recipients, or Purple Heart recipients to park their vehicles that weigh not more than 6,000 pounds gross weight, without charge, in any metered parking space.

Studded Pneumatic Tires

(AB 1971, Portantino) This new law allows the use of pneumatic tires with retractable metal-type studs, year round, as long as the studs are retracted between May 1 through October 31. However, the law prohibits a tire with retractable metal-type studs on a vehicle from being worn to a point that the metal-type studs protrude beyond the tire tread when retracted.

Spilling Cargo Loads

(AB 2714, Keene) This new law eases restrictions on cargo loads of straw or hay to allow individual pieces that do not pose a threat to life or property, to escape from bales of straw or hay that are being transported by a vehicle upon a highway, so long as those bales are loaded and secured according to federal regulations.

Assault on Highway Workers


(SB 1509, Lowenthal) This new law provides an increased penalty for assault and battery crimes committed against Caltrans highway workers who are engaged in the performance of their duties. 

 

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

December 18, 2008

Product Recalls: Protect Your Children and Family from Danger

CPSC BANNER2

Protect Your Children and Loved Ones This Holiday Season

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission publishes a monthly newsletter listing recalls and product safety news.  The November 2008 list of recalls is quite daunting indeed.  Below is the list replete with links for further details:

Stainless Steel Pots Recalled by Ocean State Jobbers Due to Burn Hazard

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Ocean State Jobbers Inc., of North Kingstown, R.I., is voluntarily recalling about 7,000 Century Cookware Stainless Steel Stockpots. The stainless steel pots have metal handles that can detach during use, posing a serious burn hazard to consumers.

 JCPenney Recalls Arizona® Newborn and Infant Pants Due to Choking Hazard

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), JCPenney Co., of Plano, Texas, is voluntarily recalling about 24,000 Arizona® Newborn and Infant Denim Pants. The metal snap at the waist can detach posing a choking hazard to infants.

 Heavy Duty Acidic Cleaner Recalled by DuPont Due to Leaking Cap; Poses Risk of Severe Skin Irritation

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), DuPont, of Wilmington, Del., is voluntarily recalling about 20,000 Heavy Duty Acidic Cleaner Bottles. Pressure can build up in a full or nearly full bottle of the acidic cleaner when it is stored in elevated temperatures over an extended period of time, which can result in the cleaner leaking from underneath the cap. If the product comes into contact with skin, it can cause severe skin irritation.

 Major Retailer Agrees to Pay $500,000 Civil Penalty for Failure to Report Hazardous Outdoor Candles

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that IKEA North America Services LLC, of Conshohocken, Pa., has agreed to pay the government a $500,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, settles allegations that the company failed to immediately report incidents about defective outdoor candles.

 Candela Recalls Candles Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Sold Exclusively at Anthropologie Stores

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Candela Group, of New York, N.Y., is voluntarily recalling about 225 Anthropologie Tin Candles. The candle flames could flare up out of the tin container during the burning of the last half inch of wax, posing a fire and burn hazard.

 ImagiPLAY Recalls Bead Maze Toys Due to Laceration Hazard

Imageplay 001

In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), ImagiPLAY, of Boulder, Colo., is voluntarily recalling about 500 Bead Maze Toys. The trees on the toys can detach, exposing a metal screw. This poses a laceration hazard to young children.

Continue reading "Product Recalls: Protect Your Children and Family from Danger" »

Ikea Product Recalls, Pays $500,000 Penalty: Candles; Blinds Lead to Death

DANGEROUS PRODUCTS

Ikea Outdoor Candles Leads to Recall, $500,000 Penalty

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced dangers in two separate Ikea products:Ikea Outdoor Candles: IKEA sold about 133,000 six-pack sets of the outdoor candles in the United States between February 2001 and July 2005. The firm also sold an additional 1.3 million candle sets internationally. During that time, the firm received at least 32 reports worldwide of unexpected flare-ups, including fire, scorching and twelve reported injuries, including minor to serious burns. In May 2006, CPSC and IKEA announced the recall of the candles.    

Ikea outdoor candles

IKEA North America Services LLC, of Conshohocken, Pa., has agreed to pay the government a $500,000 civil penalty. The penalty, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, settles allegations that the company failed to immediately report incidents about defective outdoor candles.   

Roman Blinds Lead to Strangulation Death of Child

Strangulation Death of Child Prompts Recall of Roman Blinds Sold Exclusively at Ikea.  The retailer, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, announced a voluntary recall of 670,000 units of the IRIS and ALVINE Roman Blinds which are distributed by IKEA Home Furnishings (Conshohocken, Pa).  These blinds present a strangulation hazard when a child places his or her neck in an exposed inner cord of the backside of the roman blinds.  The Commission reported the following incident:

On April 4, 2008, a 1-year-old girl in Greenwich, Conn. became entangled in the inner cord of an IKEA Roman Blind and strangled. The child was in a portable playpen that was located underneath a fully lowered roman blind. She was found partially suspended with the inner cord of the blind wrapped twice around her neck.

       

Ikea iris roman blind  

           

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact IKEA toll-free at (888) 966-4532 anytime, or visit the firm’s Web site by clicking here.

Note: CPSC reminds consumers to examine all Roman Blinds and shades in their homes. If looped pull cords are present or exposed inner cords are found on the back of blinds or shades and children are in the home or occasionally visit your home, please consider replacing them with blinds or shades that do not have exposed pull cords or inner cords.

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

 

December 17, 2008

Infant Swimming Resource: Aquatic Survival of Babies, Prevent Drowning

Infant swim 001  A client of mine sent me a link to Infant Swimming Resource. What an incredible resource.  Their site has beautiful videos of infants swimming and infants saving themselves after falling in a pool.  From their site:

Welcome to Infant Swimming Resource - South Mountain with Certified ISR Drowning Prevention Specialist Casey Bunn. 

ISR is the most comprehensive drowning prevention program.  As a part of ISR, Casey Bunn is dedicated to the eradication of the drowning epidemic facing our children. 

The ISR mission is to get to the next child before that child gets to the water.  The reality of infant and child drowning is that, in most cases, it is a preventable tragedy.

 

Infant swim 002

 

Although they are based in Arizona, Infant Swimming Resource is making themselves available throughout the country.  This is a must visit site for those with small children.  Watch the video of 2 1/2 year old Jackson Reid swimming safely by clicking here.  There's much, much more to this site with testimonials and related videos.

 

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

December 04, 2008

Link of the Day: Report Dangerous Drivers.com

Plate-nv    Plate-ca  Plate-pa 

Will wonders never cease?  What an incredible website has now graced the Internet! www.reportdangerousdrivers.com is the ultimate in real life George Orwell (ianism).  This site has special meaning to me since part of my practice revolves around representing fault-free people who've been injured at the hands of reckless drivers.  I get enraged when I see the senseless physical and emotional pain that my clients go through because someone wasn't paying attention or, worse, was driving erratically or angrily (can you say "road rage?").  This moment of dangerous driving changes innocent lives forever.

From the home page of www.reportdangerousdrivers.com comes their description and reason for existence:

Over 40,000 people are killed every year on American roads and highways and many of those deaths are directly attributable to reckless drivers.  This website allows you to report dangerous drivers of any motor vehicle, including cars, trucks and motorcycles.  When you witness a dangerous driving incident, simply get the license plate number of the vehicle.  Then you will be able to post this incident on this website.  An anonymous violation report is very easy to post, it takes just a few seconds to complete. After a violation report is posted, interested parties are notified via email and when possible, the owner of the vehicle is notified via mail of this violation.

With a searchable database that requires only the license plate number and the state of the plate, you can search for violation reports on any vehicle.  This will give the public an opportunity to keep tabs on certain vehicles by viewing violation reports that have been previously filed.  It's also very useful to parents who'd like to know if their children are driving safely.  Additionally, company owned cars, trucks and service vehicles can be tracked to ensure that they are being operated in a safe manner. 

Many of us see dangerous driving everyday. Now, you will be able to file reports on those people that put so many innocent lives at risk. A variety of violations can be reported, for example: speeding, running red lights, road rage, tailgating, school zone violations or using cell phones in a reckless manner. 
click here to see a summary of recently reported violations.  

Here's a smattering of the violation categories that you will find: Speeding, tailgating, reckless driving, road rage, driving too slowly and, of course my all-time favorite, cell phone stupid.

Tailgating  Eating while driving  Cell phone while driving  Your speed 

If you, or someone you know, has been injured, please call me immediately at

(323) 852-1100 or send an e-mail to me at lowell@steigerlaw.com

"Treated With the Respect That You Deserve"

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