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2017 - Nearly 900 new laws have now gone into effect, here are a few that may impact your daily life

Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-03 14:09:55-05

There are 898 new laws in California for 2017 and many that may impact your day to day lift.

CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING 

Completely hands free, drivers now face up to a $200 ticket if caught holding their cell phone while operating their vehicle.

Officials said cell phone must be mounted on the dashboard, windshield or console and drivers can only swipe, or tap once to activate or deactivate a feature or function. 

STUDENTS CAN BE EXPELLED FOR SEXTING

The definition of cyber bullying has now been expanded to include "sharing nude photos or harassing videos of other students."

Students caught sharing these types of files with the purpose to "humiliate or harass" other students are subject to expulsion.

STRICTER BACKGROUND CHECKS FOR RIDE SHARE COMPANIES

A new law is aiming to make it safer for customers using ride sharing vehicles like Lyft and Uber by requiring stricter background checks.

Applicants would be disqualified to drive if they have been convicted of a violent felony, are a registered sex offender or had a DUI within the past seven years.

The new law also makes the threshold lower for ride share drivers to be considered legally drunk. It forbids drivers from operating if they have a blood alcohol content of 0.04 or higher. 

BIRTH CONTROL FOR A YEAR

Women can now pick up a one year supply of hormonal birth control pills and healthcare plans are required to cover the year-at-a-time prescription.

Advocates hope it will help prevent unintended pregnancy, especially for women in rural areas who don't have a pharmacy nearby.

REAR-FACING CAR SEATS

Car seat laws are changing and now toddlers have to ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are at least two years old.

According to a 2007 study, children under two are 75 percent less likely to die or be severely injured in a vehicle accident when riding in rear-facing car seats.

Children taller than 40 inches or weighing more than 40 pounds are exempt.

GUN CONTROL

Several new gun laws are now in effect. Assault rifles flew off the shelves at the end of 2016 after rifles with "bullet buttons" were banned. Bullet button weapons allows magazines to easily detach with a tool for rapid replacement. 

Those who purchased the "bullet button" rifles can have them, but must register them within a year with the state Department of Justice. 

It is now a crime to falsely report a gun lost or stolen, and gun owners can only lend their weapons to family members. 

GENDER NEUTRAL RESTROOMS

California businesses have until March 1 to make all of their single-use public restrooms accessible to all genders. It doesn't apply to multi-stall restrooms.

BALLOT SELFIES

You can now snap a picture with your completed ballot in 2017. A new law that took effect Jan. 1 allows ballot photos. Voters previously faced a fine and jail time if they photographed their ballots.