Vehicle-clogged California needs stiff, expensive laws to try to keep motorists from violating the rules of the road.
Some new laws became effective at the beginning of this year and now will bite you in the bumper if you disobey them.
And, of course, harsh penalties have been the rule for decades, and the Legislature is not inclined to offer any discounts.
Here are what certain offenses can cost you:
Driving without car insurance and having a car accident - $796 with license suspension for four years.
Failure, after 10 days, to notify the DMV of your change of address - $214.
Driving without a driver's license - $214.
Running a red light - $533.
Running over two yellow double solid lines - $425.
An illegal U-turn - $284.
Exceeding speed limit (from 1 to 15 miles) - $224.
Exceeding speed limit (from 16-25 miles) - $338.
Driving too slowly - $328.
Not stopping for a stop sign - $284.
Passing a transportation bus when its lights are flashing - $675.
Using a hand phone while driving (first time) - $160.
Parking in a bus-reserved area - $976.
Failing to turn on headlights when it's dark - $382.
Covering a car to block sun while driving - $178.
Failure to use seat belt while driving - $160.
Kids without a seat belt or car seat as required by law - $436.
Wearing a headset on both ears while driving - $178.
Some of the new laws for 2014 are:
Teenage drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from reading, sending or using a text-based device while operating a motor vehicle, even if the device is hands-free.
Two new laws regarding clean air vehicles or with high-occupancy vehicle stickers now allow cars with appropriate decals to operate in carpool lanes without meeting the minimum occupancy requirement.
Vehicle ownership transfer is prohibited between family members until all traffic, parking or toll violations and penalties are paid off.
The California Department of Veteran Affairs (CalVet) is required to fund the creation of veterans special-interest license plates. The DMV is required to issue them if the conditions are agreeable with CalVet regarding eligibility of the individual.
Drivers holding out-of-state learners permits can take commercial driving tests through the DMV in California. The information would then be transferred electronically to the driver's state of residence.
The moral of this editorial is: Drive safely and save your money from the greedy clutches of government.