SALT LAKE CITY, June 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- 2012 Drivers must always remain up-to-date with the latest driver laws to ensure they are in compliance. In 2012, several new laws were implemented. Many laws were specific to individual states and others were nationwide. From seat belt laws to mobile phone laws, there were modifications to driving laws and insurance laws that drivers must follow to remain in compliance and keep costs low. Hefty fines may be assessed if new laws are ignored. Here are several new laws implemented in 2012:
1. Seat Belt Laws 2012
In most states, seat belts are required by law to be worn by, at least, the front passengers of the vehicle. In the state of California, children from the age of six to eight must still continue to use a booster seat until they reach the height of four feet and nine inches or the age of eight. Currently, this law only affects California and is not a nationwide mandate. Abiding by the laws also lowers car insurance rates.
2. Drunk Driving Laws for 2012
Some states imposed stricter drunk driving laws for California, Arizona, Nebraska and New Mexico. Nebraska still allows offenders to drive to work and school after an incident, but they must have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. Alternatively, they can choose to have their licenses suspended. Drivers without DUIs on their records will have lower insurance rates.
3. Electronic Distractions Laws for 2012
Many states are implementing cell phone laws to make distracted driving illegal. It is illegal to talk or text on the cell phone while driving in some states. Both California and New York have passed laws that will result in steep penalties for violations. Higher premiums help insurance companies but not drivers. Avoid distracted driving for lower insurance rates.
Some states have not made a definitive decision legally about distracted driving. Idaho is one of these states. Oregon, on the other hand, has banned cell phone use in the vehicle. These states have also made it illegal to text or use a hand-held device while driving. Handheld devices include Kindles, notebooks and iPhones.
4. Same-Sex Benefits
Some states have passed laws recognizing same-sex marriages. Insurance companies are adjusting rates to recognize same-sex laws. The discounts can be 10 percent or more for recognized partners. The discounts are comparable to heterosexual married couples. Only some states are offering these benefits.
How New Car Insurance Laws Affect Car Insurance Premiums
Drivers found in violation of the new laws may face fines. Numerous violations and fines may eventually affect insurance premiums. Some states issue points that remain on the driving record. If the number of points exceeds the threshold, the DMV may suspend a license or require a traffic school class. The DMV may also report the information to insurance agencies and premiums may increase. Insurance will increase based upon the seriousness of the violation. For example, a person with a DUI can expect an exorbitant rate increase.
Some drivers are agreeing to be tracked by insurance companies in exchange for discounts. If the drivers can prove they are safe drivers with GPS tracking devices, they may qualify for insurance discounts. This program is optional, but it can provide significant savings. The insurer benefits because there is a lower probability that the insured driver will have an accident and raise premiums. The insurance company profits from this type of customer.
Florida and other states have increased fraud penalties. The laws became stricter after convicted criminals stole insurance payments. With the new laws in place, insurance companies can reduce rates for law-abiding customers.
Consider New Car Insurance Laws Before Making a Purchase
Consider researching laws in your state by visiting CheapCarInsurance.net prior to making a purchase. This will ensure the insured party is complying with the local minimum coverage requirements in the state and other laws that may have been passed recently. Many laws affect car insurance rates and should be considered to obtain the lowest premium available.