SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - New traffic safety laws are on the books to make the roads safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers.
It gives cities and counties more opportunities to adjust speed limits beyond current recommendations.
Santa Barbara has been targeting problem areas for years with increased enforcement funded in part from state grants.
Those efforts are not just aimed at drivers but also violations from pedestrians such as jaywalking.
There's also special enforcement for bike violations, which have increased significantly in the last year..
Drivers involved in an exhibition of speed with another vehicle if it's part of a display called a "side show" can lose their license for up to six months.
This involves speed contests, reckless driving for spectators or motor vehicle stunts, like you might have seen in the Fast and Furious movies.
There's also a new law to cover horseback riding.
It requires a person under the age of 18 to wear a properly fitted helmet when riding an equestrian animal on a paved highway. It also requires riders to have reflective gear or a lamp when riding after sundown.
There is an exemption here and that would be if the rider is in a parade, such as El Desfile Historico during Fiesta, or the annual Elks Rodeo parade.
One law added in 2021 that will continue to be actively enforced this year is the use of a cell phone that's not in the hands free mode while driving.
It is currently punishable by a fine. However, with the new law, violating the hands free law for a second time within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense will result in a point being added to a driver's record.