California had a batch of new laws kick in New Year’s Day that aim to protect motorists, including celebrities who are being chased by paparazzi.
One of the more than 730 bills that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law last year was one that increased the penalties for paparazzi who drive recklessly to photograph celebrities. That legislation came on the heels of stories about actresses such as Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Anniston being hounded by tabloid photographers, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In addition, now California residents younger than 21 must take and complete a motorcycle safety course before being issued an instruction permit that lets them practice riding on a motorcycle, according to The Times. The person seeking a motorcycle license must have that instruction permit for six months before getting the permanent license.
Another new California law “exempts all airplanes and helicopters used for medical emergencies from local noise ordinances,” The Times reported.
And California will now be adding a $4 fee to each motor vehicle violation to help foot the bill for emergency air ambulance operations.
Finally, another new law permits comatose and other medically incapacitated felons to be released from prison on medical parole. That means that California won’t have to pay to guard or treat these felon patients.