800 new laws in California in 2014: Many deal with public safety, privacy

Cyber bullying & sexual harassment at top of list

SAN DIEGO - We ring in the new year with 800 new laws in California -- most taking effect immediately.

Richard White told 10News, "As far as the new laws go, they're just too many of them.  As far as I'm concerned, just too many."

Bob Rickman commented, "I find them humorous, so ridiculous." 

Anti-smoking laws are among his least favorite. He would not have been allowed the cigarette in his hand as he strolled through Balboa Park on New Year's Day.

"I couldn't and I also loved the fact you can't smoke on beaches because the littering of cigarette butts," he said. "Give 'em a ticket for littering!"

Dr. Wendy Patrick from San Diego State University reviewed several new pieces of legislation now on the books, including one aimed at online bullying. 

"A new law now allows schools to punish cyber bullies whether or not the conduct occurs on campus," she said.

Nick James is worried about some laws going too far. 

"If parents are doing their job and monitoring their children's online activity, I think that can go a long way to eliminate that sort of thing without having a heavy-handed approach," said James.

He has conflicting feelings about other laws. 

"It's a mix," he told 10News. "Some laws are better, going to protect us more. If kids aren't allowed to talk on phones, it makes everybody safer when driving but things like that NSA scandal ... that really bothers me. When people are snooping on emails, that's a real threat to our privacy."

The law protecting us from sexual harassment has been made more specific. 

"Sexual harassment need not be motivated by sexual desire and that reflects the state of sexual harassment, doesn't it?" said Patrick. "It's not engaged in because somebody has a sexual desire, it's engaged in for purposes of intimidation, humiliation, expressing dominance."

Patrick also weighed in on laws governing the use of cellphones while driving. 

"18 years old and younger … if you're going to be driving in a vehicle, you cannot be texting, even if you're using a hands-free device such as something that's voice activated," she said.

Print this article Back to Top