Report: California’s Driver’s License Suspensions for Unpaid Tickets Impacting People with Lower Income

Report California’s Driver’s License Suspensions for Unpaid Tickets Impacting People with Lower IncomeDangerous driving behaviors don’t just result in accidents. Getting caught red-handed by California traffic authorities usually result in the issuance of tickets and having to pay certain fines and penalties. Indeed, whenever a driver commits a violation, points are added to his or her driving record. For instance, a point is assigned to someone ticketed for making an unsafe lane change or got involved in an at-fault accident. Two points are assigned to someone ticketed for driving recklessly, leaving the scene of the accident without stopping (hit-and-run), driving under the influence, or driving while his or her driver’s license is either suspended or revoked.

Also, whenever a driver is ticketed for either an infraction or a misdemeanor offense, he or she has the option to pay the ticket (pay the corresponding fine) or contest it (appear in court). But then, not all drivers are able to pay the fine on time due to financial constraints. What happens is that more penalties and fines are imposed, including the potential of getting their driver’s licenses suspended. The ongoing policy of license suspensions for unpaid tickets, however, have been seen as disproportionately impacting people with lower income, as a recent report released last April 8, 2015 showed.

According to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) of the San Francisco Bay Area, which is responsible for the said report, an estimated 4.2 million drivers in California—accounting to 1 in 6 drivers—“do not have valid driver’s license because they cannot afford to pay traffic fines and fees.” Titled “Not Just a Ferguson Problem: How Traffic Courts Drive Inequality in California,” this report comes right after the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division released its own findings regarding Ferguson, Missouri courts and law enforcement agencies and how their similar practice of suspending driver’s licenses for unpaid tickets disparately affects not just low-income individuals, but also people of color.

The situation in California goes like this: whenever an individual fails to appear in court (when fighting the ticket) or pay the fine (when paying the ticket), his or her driver’s license is suspended. Not only that, but an additional $300 civil assessment is added to the total amount of the fine. Thus the impact of court-ordered debt and license suspensions; since driver’s licenses are become a requirement in low- and middle-income jobs, drivers with suspended licenses cannot possibly do work, let alone pay whatever’s needed to be paid in fines and penalties.

Even if they do pay on a monthly basis, they stop paying, knowing that they cannot claim back their license. As a result, the State of California has an uncollected court-ordered debt of over $10 billion, according to the recently released figures from the Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Meanwhile, the report also proposed certain solutions, primarily the call to end the practice of suspending driver’s licenses “as a collection tool for citation-related debt.” In addition, the report also suggested that the fines being enforced be lowered by half, as well as the court base the assessment of the fines based on the violators’ ability to pay.

Tips on how to avoid Car Accident when you’re in Los Angeles

Tips on how to avoid Car Accident when you’re in Los AngelesThere are a great number of vehicles, motorists, and pedestrians in Los Angeles. The long queue of vehicles along traffic jams is just one clear indicator of the traffic situation in the area. Now contrary to what most people think, a lot of traffic accidents also happen in areas where vehicles are travelling at a slow speed. While most of these accidents aren’t that bad, fender benders, for one is a common occurrence in Los Angeles. However there are times when traffic accidents end up ugly, causing death or injury to the victim. As a Los Angeles car accident case attorney says, as a motorist, you have a role in keeping our roads safe and in preventing mishaps from happening. How can you do just that and what can you do to prevent being involved in a car crash? Here are some very simple, but useful tips to keep you safe on the road.

  • Adapt your driving style to the right road conditions. Given that Los Angeles has diverse climate conditions, one has to adapt his or her driving style depending on the season. During winter and the rainy season, roads can get a little too slippery making driving a bit more difficult than usual. And so, one should drive slower and a lot more careful. This would prevent huge auto crashes that could cause damage to property, injuries, and even fatalities. By adapting your driving style to the road conditions, you will have better control of your vehicle and be able to stay away from hazards that could cause accidents.
  • Keep your vehicles in top shape. A poorly-maintained vehicle will perform just as poorly on the road. More than being less efficient, poorly-maintained vehicles have this great chance of failing while in use. These things can put your life in great danger. And so, you should do everything you can to keep your vehicles in tip-top condition to have a fun and safe road trips.
  • Follow traffic rules. From buckling up before you set off to making the right signals when changing directions, traffic laws can do a lot in helping you keep yourself and others safe while travelling. By religiously following these laws, you can better avoid accidents helping keep you and other safe while travelling.
  • Stay away from hazards on the road. From animals on the road side, to reckless drivers in cars, or big rigs on the road, it would be better to stay away from these hazards to save yourself from being entangled in an accident because of their antics. By being a defensive driver, you keep yourself from being involved in accidents that may get you and others injured or dead.

Driving is such a great responsibility as your life and the lives of others lie in your very hands. So make sure that you do everything that you can to ensure yours and others’ safety while on the road. By following these tips, you will be able to stay away from accidents, letting you have an enjoyable and safe trip.

However, there would still be times that you may end up getting involved in an accident because of somebody else’s fault. Should that ever happen to you, remember that you can go and file car accident claims to run after these negligent and reckless drivers. All that you need to do is gather pieces of evidence, and prepare and file a car accident claim for you to be able to hold those responsible for the accident liable for their actions. Moreover, you can get compensation from these people, letting you recover from the damages caused by the accident and pay for the treatment, medication, and therapy that you need. You will even be able to recover lost wages and future earnings after winning a claim. Just ask for the assistance of lawyers for car accident in Los Angeles and let them help you in your quest for justice and avenge what has happened to you or your loved one.

Another Life Claimed by a “Race Accident”; or was it?

Another Life Claimed by a “Race Accident”; or was it
Contact and confrontations between drivers in sprint car racing is quite a normal occurrence. Given the competitive spirit felt in the races, add in some powerful cars, then you’re in for an exciting, and literally, action-packed races. However, just recently, a contact and confrontation had led to something tragic. Young Driver Kevin Ward Jr. was struck and killed by fellow sprint car driver Tony Stewart.

Fatal Confrontation

In the sprint car race last August 9, 2014, Kevin Ward Jr’s car went spinning after it had contact with race veteran Tony Stewart. With his temper getting the better of him, Ward, clad in a black firesuit and black helmet, went out of his car to confront Stewart which he believes caused him to crash. However, Ward got off his car in a dimly-lit part of the race track, making his black outfit hardly visible for other drivers. Moreover, Ward was said to have walked towards oncoming cars as he was furiously trying to confront Stewart. While the car in front was able to avoid hitting Ward, Stewart was not able to control his car in time, causing the former to get struck, rolled over, and dragged on by the latter’s car. The racing car accident proved to be really fatal as Ward suffered severe injuries that led to his death.

Investigations On-going

After the preliminary investigations were made about the accident, authorities have not found any piece of evidence that hold Stewart liable for the death of Ward. However, Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero said that criminal charges are not yet ruled out and further investigation are being made. Some have pointed out that Stewart has long been involved in many confrontations on the race track. He was also involved in a number of accidents that caused injuries to a number of racers. This is one of the reasons why authorities are still exerting efforts to better discern if Stewart was at any extent, had the intent to hit Ward.

Possible Scenarios

With the recent developments regarding the accident, there is a great chance that Stewart will walk away from this incident and won’t be charged for Ward’s death. However, a Los Angeles wrongful death attorney shared that with the sheriff office asking possible witnesses to submit photos and videos of the incident, criminal intent may still be proven. In such cases, the Ward family of the victim can file a wrongful death claim against Stewart and ask for damages and compensation for the losses and expenses that they have incurred. More than anything though, a win in such claims will help you get justice for the untimely loss of a loved one and make their passing worthwhile.

Some Interesting Facts about Cars That You May Not Know About

The people’s growing interest towards cars usually stem from various sources. There are those who keep themselves updated on the latest motoring news, particularly those that concern their favorite car brands. There are those who have obtained enough knowledge on everything about cars by visiting car shows and, for many car owners, dealing with their vehicles’ issues. From the simple changing of flat tires to the complicated mastery of how engines work, many have been knowledgeable when it comes to cars because of these.

If you are a passionate car enthusiast, then it is definitely advantageous for you to use these pieces of information that you have in eliciting casual conversations with other like-minded people. But then, you might as well equip yourself with further knowledge about cars by taking note of these interesting facts about cars that you may not know about:

  • The first full-scale, mechanical vehicle, or widely regarded as the automobile, was built by Nicolas-Joseph Cugnot in around 1769. Technically, it is an automobile, but it only has three wheels, which makes it a tricycle of sorts.  But the self-propelled mechanism of Cugnot’s invention became the basis and the inspiration for today’s cars.

  • Would you believe that the U.S. only ranked 3rd in terms of passenger cars per 1,000 people? In 2011, the country of Luxembourg in Europe led all nations in that department, followed by Iceland, then the United States, Italy, and Malta. In the lower ranks, Pakistan has the least passenger cars per 1,000 people. It is followed India, Kenya, Nigeria, and Vietnam.

  • Edward J. Claghorn was the first one to be granted the first patent for the safety belt in 1885. However, it only became a standard in front seats in the US in 1963, with the Swedish car manufacturer Volvo making it happen. Prior to this, it was in 1958 when the company’s design engineer Nils Bohlin patented the first 3-point safety belt, which is the seat belt that we wear today.

  • The “window cleaning device” that is widely known today as windshield wipers was popularly credited to Mary Anderson in 1903, although two others, Robert Douglass and John Apjohn were also credited for this very useful car-related invention.

  • The airbag, which is the vehicle safety device that commonly pops out whenever crashes occur, inflates at approximately 40 milliseconds upon impact.

These are just some of the awesome things about cars that you may not know about. Now that you are aware of these little bits of information, you can be even more interesting in front of your peers during your conversations with them.

Some of the Most Recommended Holiday Gift Ideas for Drivers

Some of the Most Recommended Holiday Gift Ideas for Drivers
During holiday season, sharing becomes a common deed. It can be expressed in two popular forms either by giving some money or material things as a gift. However, there are certain struggles that a person who chooses to prepare gifts could encounter in the process. When selecting and buying presents, a person should not only focus on the physical appearance of a material thing, but rather, he or she should think about what the receiver mostly needs. In short, it should be in line with practical purposes to make the expenditures worth it too.

In particular, choosing the greatest gift for a person who’s working as a driver is not that hard anymore. There are a lot of useful suggestions that one could find by merely searching on informative online sites that features related articles which are composed of trustworthy gift preferences made by the experts. More fortunately, these things are easy to find. Here’s a list:

 GPS device

As a satellite-based navigation system, a GPS device can largely help the drivers when they are travelling. In fact, there are many reasons on why a driver is safer when they have this gadget with them. It has been the basis on why a GPS device is a good find for a driver’s holiday present. Three of the leading advantages that they could get are that they don’t need to use maps, they’ll be assisted by knowing which lane to be in and more adorably, a GPS device efficiently promotes safe driving during the night.

Satellite radio

Radios are driver’s number one companion when they are travelling aside from other people. It can offer not just the entertainment but also as an outlet for spreading important news alerts about weather, traffic and other status alerts. However, losing reception along the road became a normal problem for the drivers. That’s why, giving them a satellite radio would be the best holiday gift because this device is commercial free and will never lose its service.

Electric blanket

On a cold night, drivers are longing for warmth while waiting for their loads or even when they are already on the road. Good news is, these drivers don’t have to suffer a fever or a cold that they could mostly attain when driving at night. An electric blanket is a useful present for them because aside from the fact that this is very handy, it is made to create warm in the fastest way possible. Also, these blankets are safe in washing machines.

Misfuelling prevention device

An approximate data of 150,000 drivers has been listed that put a wrong fuel for their vehicles. When they are affected by this situation, broad damages and disturbances are to be expected. Because of that, it is evident for a person to select a misfuelling prevention device as their holiday present for someone they know who drives. This device can unquestionably save a lot of time and money for them when they are going to place this alarm in the location of a vehicle’s fuel cap as a replacement.

Power inverter

Bringing a good source of energy while on the road is very essential. As a great gift for the drivers, a car power inverter which is a simple device only needs the help of a vehicle battery to be able to transfer some energy towards the electrical devices. This can be used to charge up a phone, an MP3 player and other travel-friendly devices. Indeed, this device benefits both the entertainment and the emergency needs of a person, especially during long trips, hectic schedules and even on the drivers’ vacant times.

These holiday gift ideas will surely make your loved one safer on the roads. The holiday season has always been associated with heavy traffic and accidents. This is why it is important to practice all safety measures and precautions when hitting the road, regardless of what time of the year it is. However, in case you get involved in a car accident, it is important that you contact a Los Angeles car accident attorney as soon as possible to claim for damages and compensations from the liable party.

Labor Day Weekend Means Increased Traffic Activity; Vehicle Accidents Likely

Labor Day Weekend Means Increased Traffic Activity; Vehicle Accidents Likely

September 1 is Labor Day. Since it falls on a Monday, it is expected that a lot of Americans would be taking advantage of the extended vacation over the weekend. Also, the federal holiday is the unofficial end to the summer season, ushering the advent of fall and welcoming students back to school. Given the circumstances, people all over the nation are likely to spend the short holiday weekend to organize last-minute summer trips or parties at either bars or at the comfort of their own neighborhood. That would only mean one thing: motor vehicles are expected to fill up major thoroughfares over the weekend.

Unlike the upcoming Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and the Christmas seasons, traveling within Labor Day weekend tends to be less costly, thus the anticipated influx of vehicles on highways throughout those three days. In fact, according to the projections of the Automobile Club of Southern California, more Southern California residents will be hitting the roads this weekend than any other Labor Day weekend since six years ago, at nearly 4 million travelers all over the state, with 3.19 million of them expected to drive their vehicles.

One main concern about all this, though, is the fact that vehicle accidents increase during this time of the year. Based on the National Safety Council (NSC) statistics, traffic fatalities from 2006 to 2011 ranged from more than 300 to less than 500.

Among the culprits are the intoxicated drivers. Basically a lot of people are expected to have drinks at house parties or at bars over the weekend as a last hurrah for this year’s summer season. Some of them, however, would be driving themselves back home drunk; putting themselves in danger of getting caught by law enforcement or getting injured or killed, likewise putting other motorists’ lives at risk.

This is why the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and all the other traffic and law enforcement agencies in every state in the U.S. are anticipating the influx of vehicles this upcoming long weekend to control the situation of the streets. First order of business is, of course, to track down drivers under the influence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, expert attorneys such as a car accident attorney in Los Angeles, as well as other road safety advocates, remind every single individual planning to do the following:

  • Avoid any distractions such as the use of cellphones and other devices;
  • Buckle up using the seat belt;
  • Buckle children up at the back seat of the vehicle using car safety seats;
  • Exercise caution by driving defensively, especially when amidst inclement weather or any tough traffic situation; and
  • Designate a non-drinking driver when going out to drink alcohol.

If you wish to read more about car accident, you can visit this website: http://www.personalinjurydefenders.com/car-accidents.html

Icy Road Safety Driving Tips from Our Los Angeles Car Crash Attorneys

As the icy weather condition in some parts of the country continues, Americans are being advised to stay indoors until the snow plows and the sanding trucks are done with their work.

However, if you can’t avoid driving in bad winter weather, make sure that your vehicle is well-prepared for the bad weather and that you absolutely know how to handle icy road conditions.

Icy Road

Image gives credit to © Tim Graham/Robert Harding World Imagery/Corbis

Here are few safety driving tips from our Los Angeles car crash attorneys for those who really can’t avoid going outdoor:

•    It is better to drive slowly than going in a maximum speed on an icy road. Also, avoid tailgating. Always leave enough space to stop. A space that is three times than the usual between your car and the other car ahead of your vehicle is recommended.

•    Brake slowly to prevent the wheels from skidding. Once the wheels have started to lock up, then you could ease off the brake.

•    Turn the lights on so that the other motorists can clearly see you. Be sure that your lights and windshield are clean and not covered with snow.

•    Keep driving in low gear to keep traction, particularly when driving on hills.

•    Don’t use cruise control system to maintain constant driving speed on icy roads.

•    Be extra careful on bridges, over passes and frequently traveled roads since they always freeze first even during above-freezing temperature.

•    Don’t pass snow plows and sanding trucks since such vehicles have lots of blind spots. Also, you might encounter worse road condition in front of them than the road behind.

•    The most important thing here is that don’t assume that your vehicle can handle all kinds of weather conditions. Even four-wheel drive vehicles can encounter troubles along the way.

Kylie Jenner Crashes Fancy Car in Calabasas Days after Obtaining Her Driver’s License

Kylie Jenner

Photo gives credit to Pacific Coast News.

Days after obtaining her driver’s license, the Kardashian’s younger half sister, Kylie Jenner, reportedly crashed her high-end vehicle in Calabasas, California.

According to reports, the reality TV star and model crashed her pricey Mercedes Benz SUV at the back of a Toyota vehicle which subsequently crashed into the back of a Subaru SUV, causing a three-vehicle collision.

Fortunately for Kylie, nobody was hurt from the incident. In fact, witnesses to the incident claimed that she handled the incident like a pro, apologizing and asking if everybody were okay and exchanged car insurance information.

Further reports claimed that the Toyota car suffered major damage to the back while the Subaru suffered bumper damage.

The incident happened last August 28, just 18 days after her 16th birthday. Incidentally, the youngest Jenner also obtained her license on her 16th birthday, while her fancy vehicle, a G-Class Mercedes-Benz SUV, was said to be a birthday present for her by her mom, Kris Jenner.

What an unfortunate way to celebrate her being a licensed driver in 16th year of existence commented by a Los Angeles injury attorney. In addition, the lawyer herein also noted that the state’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) aims to pursue promoting rules of the road and further develop a new generation of safe teen drivers. Thus, the agency has provided helpful tips and resources for teens in its official web page.

 

 

The Necessity of Immediate Documentation after a Car Accident

This guest post gives credit to Molly Pearce.

 

When you have been injured in an auto accident, the best way to prove your claims is to have written documents describing the crash and the injuries you sustained.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29311691@N05/4125693115/

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29311691@N05/4125693115/

Documents signed by physicians, police officers, and witnesses to the crash help to bolster your claims to insurance companies about your injuries. Your goal is to be fairly compensated for your injuries. However, not all insurance companies will fairly reimburse you for your medical bills and other expenses related to your accident.

Before you accept any payments from an insurance company, consult with a personal injury attorney who will make sure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to by law.

As stated by one Virginia law firm, “personal injury law grants injured victims the right to pursue compensation for their losses, damages, and suffering caused by someone else’s negligence.” An experienced personal injury attorney knows how to use the official documentation related to the crash to negotiate a fair settlement or use it as the basis of a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Police reports

The most requested documents for facts on automobile accidents are police reports. A police officer notes all aspects of the accident scene, including:

1. The number of vehicles involved

2. Names of drivers and witnesses

3. Weather and road conditions

4. Vehicle damages

5. Types of injuries sustained

In addition to the basic facts, police officers write narratives about the crash based on their interview with everyone involved in the crash (victims, defendants, witnesses, etc).

When someone sustains an injury, the police report notes whether the injured individuals refused medical treatment or whether they were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Medical reports

Medical records from the hospital or clinic visit immediately following a crash are another form of documentation that can play an important role in personal injury claims. Drivers and passengers with severe injuries who are taken to the hospital will have reports signed by doctors, noting the person’s complaints, what medical treatment was provided, and what drugs were prescribed, if any, and whether immediate hospitalization was ordered.

Those who appear to have escaped any injury may not want to seek medical treatment because of the inconvenience and the time it will take to go to an emergency room. But just because people can walk away from an accident does not mean that they have not sustained internal injuries or a traumatic brain injury, of which, a concussion is the most common.

Mobile phone photos

While photos are not official documentation, they are the next best thing to describe damages that were done to vehicles in accidents. Describing the photos in writing can at least serve as an unofficial document of an accident.

Using mobile phone photos might work for drivers involved in hit-and-runs on city side streets and highways who want to file an insurance claim and need some type of proof that an accident occurred. A driver or passenger can pull out their mobile phone and take a photo of the car that hit them or the license plate number, before that driver pulls off.

In cities where police resources are stretched too thin, drivers who want documentation may have to go to a local police station to report the hit-and-run.

A personal injury attorney can advise you on how to obtain as much information as possible about your injury. The more official documents you have, the stronger a case your attorney can present on your behalf.

As a busy city motorist, author, mother, and artist Molly Pearce shares this info to fellow drivers who may not know what difference documentation can make in the event of an accident. Through past experiences, she has found that maintaining all accident-related docs and acquiring solid legal representation is a recipe for successfully obtaining positive legal results. The personal injury attorneys Price Benowitz, LLP, provide legal counsel and help victims maintain proper documentation to support their injury claims.