Friday, February 11, 2005

On The Mark -- Speaking of Traffic...Attention All Calif. Drivers

You may not be aware of a new law that took effect Jan. 1. While operating your car, if you turn on your windshield wipers -- even at the intermitten level -- you must also turn on your headlights. If your headlights are not on at the same time, you face a $45 fine (first offense) if caught, you scofflaw, you.

New traffic laws for the CHP are like getting new toys at Christmas. One can't wait to try them out.


B2 said...

As I understand it, it's not that the two systems are in love and hate to be used separately, but rather that any weather which would necessitate the use of your wipers also necessitates the use of your headlights. What's being legislated is the required use of headlights in inclement weather. And anyone who doesn't like helmet and seatbealt laws will, no doubt, also object to this additional legislation of public safety and common sense.

The Misanthrope said...

I strong believe in helmet and seatbelt laws, but this law is silly. It is just some state legislator trying prove he/she (I'm too lazy to look up the bill) is working. Also, this law is right up there with jay-walking violations.

The complete Oxford English Dictionary traces the word jaywalker back to 1917 and labels it 'originally US'. There is a cross-reference to the word jay, which has a number of slang senses. The relevant one is 'a stupid or dull person, a simpleton. Also (as adjective) dull, unsophisticated; inferior, poor'. This is labelled 'US colloquial', and there is evidence of use from 1900. So persons who stupidly ignored traffic regulations were given (in Boston, it seems) this compact name.

I believe the cop who issues such a ticket should be called a jay-ticketer.

Mike, retired CHP said...

It must be "A condition requiring the windshield wipers to be in continuous use" and not intermittent use, that headlamps must be turned on. This section of the Calif. Vehicle Code is not in effect until July 1, 2005.