A new year means new laws. But there are two existing on the road laws that have expanded in 2017.

The Torrance Police Department advises that effective now the law that prohibits the use of electronic devices while driving has been amended. A driver can operate a handheld wireless telephone or wireless electronic communications device if it’s mounted on a windshield in the same way as a GPS. The mount can’t affect the driver’s view of the road.

According to the National Safety Council, last year there were 1.6 million crashes on U.S. roads caused by cell phone use. The driver can use his or her hand to activate or deactivate a feature or function on the phone with a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger, but not while holding it.

Also in full effect, kids under the age of 2 years must be placed in rear-facing car seats unless they weigh 40 pounds or more and stand 40 inches or taller.

Other new laws have to do with an increase in the minimum wage, stricter gun laws and new protection laws for child victims of human trafficking.

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