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San Francisco is a coastal city located in Northern California. Founded in 1776 as a mission, San Francisco is one of the oldest cities in California. Mild weather and an abundance of tourist attractions draw people from around the world to the city every year.

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Driving Conditions in San Francisco

Heavy traffic is typical in all major metropolitan areas in California. Unique situations in San Francisco include Lombard Street. Known as the crookedest street in the world, the sharp turns on Lombard Street can cause stress for motorists. Driving across the Golden Gate Bridge is also a nerve-racking experience because of traffic congestion that is caused by a combination of commuters trying to get across the bridge and tourists visiting the famous site.

San Francisco Crime Statistics

Information related to auto thefts and property crime in cities across the country has been provided by the FBI. Crash statistics and drunk driving statistics are available from the California Office of Transportation.

6,915 vehicles were reported stolen in San Francisco. Also, 53,019 property crimes were reported that year.

San Francisco Vehicle and Driving Safety Laws

Seat Belt Law

Children under age 2 must ride facing the rear of a vehicle in an appropriate child passenger safety seat, according to the California Highway Patrol. Children weighing at least 40 pounds or standing at least 40 inches tall are exempt. Children under age 8 must be properly restrained in an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat of a vehicle.

Cellphone Laws

Motorists can’t hold a wireless telephone or electronic wireless communication device while driving a vehicle, the California Highway Patrol says; however, hands-free use is allowed. Instead of a device being held, it must be mounted in the 7-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a 5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver. Another option: Attach the device to the dashboard where it does not block the driver’s view of the road and does not hinder airbag deployment.

Helmet Laws

Anyone under age 18 must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle on a street, bikeway or public bike path or trail. Helmet use also is mandated for anyone under 18 who’s riding a scooter or skateboard, or using inline skates.

Impaired Driving Law

For drivers over age 21, the blood alcohol limit for DUI is 0.08 percent. A first-time DUI conviction can lead to a $1,000 fine, plus more than $2,600 in penalty assessments; a six-months jail sentence; a six-month license suspension; a 30-day vehicle impoundment; and installation of an interlock breath device in the driver’s vehicle.

Under California law, authorities have “zero tolerance” for anyone under 21 who’s been caught driving under the influence. The state Department of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends or revokes the driving privileges of a driver under 21 who was busted for DUI (alcohol or a combination of alcohol and drugs) who had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.01 percent or refused to take a blood alcohol screening or test.

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