With 2021 now upon us, you should be aware of these three new laws affecting motorists:
- Unattended children in motor vehicles: Exempts a person from civil or criminal liability for trespassing or damaging a vehicle when rescuing a child who is 6 years old or younger in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of ventilation, or other dangerous circumstances. [Effective Jan. 1, 2021]
- “Move Over, Slow Down” amendments: The “Move Over, Slow Down” law has been expanded to apply to local streets and roads. Drivers approaching a stationary emergency vehicle displaying emergency lights, including tow trucks and Caltrans vehicles, must move to another lane when possible, or slow to a reasonable speed on all highways, not just freeways. [Effective Jan. 1, 2021]
- Points for distracted driving: Beginning July 1, 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 driving record.
For more information on new driving-related laws taking effect in 2021, click below.
Is carpooling for you? Here’s a quick test: Do you dislike sitting in traffic, enjoy saving money and wouldn’t mind a little company on the drive to work? If you answered “yes”, keep reading.
“It’s hard to find people to carpool with.” Finding people to carpool with is actually easier than it’s ever been. Beyond networking with friends, neighbors & co-workers to create a traditional carpool, apps like Lyft Line, UberPOOL, Scoop and Carzac help you connect with a carpool one ride at a time with no long-term commitment. Advance planning ranges from a few hours (Scoop) to a few minutes (LyftLine, UberPOOL).
“Carpooling doesn’t offer enough flexibility.” Carpooling works best when you tailor it to your needs. You don’t have to carpool five days a week; you can carpool as much as you like. Would you like to alternate between riding and driving? That can be arranged. And if you enjoy having no long-term commitment but want to go app-free, you can always try Casual Carpool. Just remember, there’s no wrong way to carpool!
“If I miss my carpool, I’ll be stranded.” The Guaranteed Ride Home program ensures that carpoolers (and other alternative commuters) have a ride home when the unexpected happens. In the event of a crisis, unscheduled overtime or a carpool vehicle breaking down, Guaranteed Ride Home will reimburse you for your taxi or rideshare trip home up to six times a calendar year if you’re registered in the program.
NOTE: Which Guaranteed Ride Home program you’re eligible for depends on your county of employment. For more information, click the appropriate county program in the table above.
The Benefits of Carpooling
Here are some strong arguments in favor of carpooling:
- Faster Commute: With access to more HOV lanes in Contra Costa County, you travel faster and get to work sooner
- Save Money: Splitting the cost of gas and tolls saves you money
- $25 Bonus: Carpool at least once a week in Contra Costa County & you can apply for the $25 Commuter Incentive
- Cleaner Air: Fewer cars on the road means less emissions and better air quality
- Less Stress: Getting out from behind the wheel allows you to read, relax, or even work
- Be Social: If you have to drive to work, why do it alone?
- Get Happy: Studies have shown a direct link between shorter commutes and greater satisfaction with life
Ready to give carpooling a try? If you live or work in Contra Costa be sure to sign up for the $25 Commuter Incentive, then visit the 511CC Carpool page for more information on how to get started!
If you have any questions about carpooling, feel free to contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
BART may go on strike July 1, 2009. Don’t wait until then to figure out how to get to work. Talk to co-workers or others in your building NOW to arrange a carpool and then sign up with us to receive a $60 gift card. You might also consider vanpooling. Look for vans with empty seats. If you are able to join a van, sign up to receive 50% discount on your vanpool costs from 511 Contra Costa. Be sure to enroll in our Guaranteed Ride Home Program. It’s our way of encouraging carpooling instead of driving alone to work. If you would like to find a carpool or vanpool partner using the Regional Rideshare data base visit http://rideshare.511.org.