Don’t Leave the Scene of an Accident Too Soon

Don’t Leave the Scene of an Accident Too Soon

Don’t Leave the Scene of an Accident Too Soon

Nobody ever wants to be in a car accident, even a minor one. A small accident could put a bump or ding on a person’s vehicle, while larger ones can result in severe injuries and even death. Due to this fact, people are afraid of getting in accidents, and rightfully so. No one wants to be responsible for hurting someone else. Unfortunately, accidents do happen.

When an accident happens, no matter how little or how bad it may be, a driver needs to remain on the scene to deal with it. If a driver leaves the scene of the accident before it is resolved, they could be charged with hit and run. That is a crime no one ever wants to be accused of.

A Driver’s Responsibility

Here in the state of California, a driver is responsible for handling any accidents that they are involved in, regardless of who is at fault for the accident. This means that if a driver hits another vehicle, or a person, they have to remain on scene to help out as best as they can. If a driver is hit by another vehicle, they still have to stay on the scene until the accident has been handled.

In either situation, if the driver leaves the scene of the accident without first identifying themselves, they could be charged with hit and run. To identify themselves at the scene of an accident, a driver must stop their car, and provide the other parties involved with the accident with their identifying information. This includes the driver’s:

  • Name.
  • Contact information.
  • Current address.
  • Driver’s License, upon request.
  • Vehicle registration, upon request.
  • The information of the vehicle’s owner, if the driver isn’t the owner.

Though a driver should stay on the scene until it is completely dealt with, they can leave after they have given the other party this information if they are in a hurry to get somewhere. At least with the information given, the other party will be able to sort out the accident.

When it comes to hitting a parked car, a person should leave a note with all of the above information, plus a description of what happened, in a discreet, yet easy to find spot. The person should then contact the local police department and alert them to the accident. Doing all of this creates a record of the incident and shows that the drive tried to remedy the situation.

Penalties of Committing Hit and Run

Under California Vehicle Codes (VC) 20002 and 20001, hit and run crimes can either be charged as misdemeanors or as felonies. How the crime is charged is dependent on what was damaged during the car accident that the driver fled from. If property was damaged, then the driver will face misdemeanor charges. If a person was injured or killed, then the driver will face felony charges.

The consequences of VC 20002, misdemeanor hit and run, are:

  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • A jail sentence of up to 6 months.
  • 3 years informal probation.
  • 2 points on driver’s record.
  • Restitutions to victims.

The consequences of VC 20001, felony hit and run, are:

  • A fine between $1,000 and $10,000.
  • A prison stay of 3 or 4 years.
  • 2 points on driver’s record.
  • Restitutions to victims.

A Driver Is Better Off Staying

Being charged with hit and run in California is no small matter. Hit and runs are taken very seriously, and can cost a driver more than just money. In addition, a driver can be accused of hit and run regardless of whether or not the accident was their fault. This means that by fleeing the scene of an accident, a driver can make circumstances worse for themselves. They may not have been in any legal trouble had they stayed, but y running, the driver became guilty of hit and run.

This is why it is best for drivers to just stop and pullover when they’ve been in an accident. Running will just make things worse.

What do you think of California’s hit and run laws? Are they too strict, not strict enough, or just right? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

Californians Are Battling Over Senate Bill 276

With all of the extra means of communication around the world, there are more debates than ever. Some of them are very minor, such as whether or not pineapple belongs on pizza, and others are far more heated. The more heated the debate, the angrier both sides of the argument tend to become.

A perfect example of this is the ongoing debate over whether or not children should be vaccinated. Some parents believe that it is their right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children. Other parents argue that since unvaccinated kids help spread the disease to other students, the parents of the unvaccinated child lose that right to choose.

This debate is coming to a head here in California as the state legislature looks at a new bill that could change how children are vaccinated in the state. Naturally, this has caused quite a stir amongst parents from both sides of the argument.

Does SB 276 Remove a Parent’s Right to Choose

California lawmakers are currently reviewing Senate Bill (SB) 276. This bill would change how parents could get permission to not have their child vaccinated before going to school. Currently, parents simply need to get a doctor’s note of approval in order to not have their child vaccinated. SB 276 seeks to change that by removing that power from doctors and giving it to state public health officials instead.

This simple change would make it much more difficult for parents who are against vaccinations to have their child exempt from need the vaccines. Due to that fact, many anti-vaccination parents are up in arms over this proposed bill. They argue that this bill would remove the parent’s right to make decisions for their child.

On the other side of the fence, people are arguing that anti-vaccination parents are making choices that not only affect their child, but the children of everyone else at the school. Therefore, the parent shouldn’t be able to make that decision on their own, since the results are so far reaching. This claim is backed up by the recent reemergence of measles, along with other once life threatening diseases that were thought to be eliminated in the United States thanks to vaccines.

Why Are Some Parents Against Vaccines?

The idea of anti-vaccinations has steadily gained traction over the recent decades, but where did it come from? After all, vaccinations helped immunize a child against potentially life-threatening diseases. Well, some people believe that vaccines cause autism in children. This belief started with a medical study.

Back in 1998, a British doctor named Andrew Wakefield released a report on a study he conducted that claimed to find a link between vaccines and autism. However, shortly after the “study” was published, it was discovered that Wakefield’s research only examined 12 people, far too small of a sample size to come to any concrete decisions. In addition, Wakefield altered and manipulated data to better support his belief.

Once all of that was realized, the paper was retracted and Wakefield’s medical license was revoked. However, none of this happened before the news of the supposed link between vaccines and autism spread like wildfire.

Even though the study was retracted, and dozens upon dozens of new studies have since disproved Wakefield’s claim, people still choose to belief it. Unfortunately, this puts thousands of children at risk of contracting dangerous diseases such as measles, polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria.

Will Californians Have to Get Vaccinated?

The debate currently going up in Sacramento surrounding SB 276 will continue to be very heated. Both opposing sides whole heartedly agree that they are right, and the other side is wrong. No matter how California lawmakers decide to side in this debate, there will undoubtedly be some uproar.

What do you think of SB 276? Should parents be allowed to choose whether or not their child gets vaccinated, or is this decision too important for parents to just opt out of? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Is It Illegal to Smoke in a Car with Children Present?

Is It Illegal to Smoke in a Car with Children Present?

Is It Illegal to Smoke in a Car with Children Present?

Pretty much everyone is aware of the fact that smoking is bad. It can be incredibly damaging to the human body, which is why it causes around 480,000 deaths each year in the United States alone. This is about 1 out of every 5 deaths in the country. This is also more deaths than the following causes combined:

  • HIV
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol use
  • Car crashes
  • Gun related incidents

The numbers and stats are quite intimidating, and yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 14 out of every 100 adults over the age of 18 smoke in the US. This totals to around 34.3 million adults smoking. That is a lot of people out there who are knowingly causing a lot of harm to their body. This is just the stats for the people who purposefully smoke, then there are the people who are effected despite never smoking themselves.

The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a term that refers to the smoke that non-smokers inhale. This smoke comes from the lit end of cigarettes, and the smoke exhaled by the smoker him/herself. This smoke can linger for hours, and spread up to 20 feet away from the smoker. When breathed in by a passerby, they are exposed to the very same health risks that smokers are, despite never actually smoking themselves.

This is why smoking has been banned in most areas, especially areas where lots of children will be present, to protect people who have made the conscious decision to not smoke.

Children and Secondhand Smoke

Smoking is bad enough for fully grown adults, but it is even worse for children. Children’s bodies are still developing and growing, making them more susceptible to the health risks that come from secondhand smoke. Some of the side effects of secondhand smoke amongst children include:

  • Developing bronchitis
  • Developing pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome
  • Asthma attacks
  • Lung infections

This is why smoking is banned from schools, daycares, and homes that serve as daycares. What many people may not be aware of, is that here in the state of California, it is actually against the law to smoke in a car when minors are present. This actually makes a lot of sense, though it is often overlooked.

Inside a vehicle, secondhand smoke levels can get way out of hand. The levels of pollutants in the air can get well above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) hazardous limit. Some drivers try to get around this by cracking open a window to allow the car to vent. While this does reduce the amount of pollutants in the air within the vehicle, they are still 10 to 20 times more than the EPA’s Hazard limit. This means that the air is still very toxic, and therefore very damaging, to children.

Smoking in a vehicle with minors inside is an infraction level offense, and a minor one at that. This means that it comes with a small fine and no possibility of jail time. In addition, officers are very unlikely to pull a driver over just for smoking with children in the car. More than likely, the driver will be pulled over for some other traffic offense, and this offense will be added onto the ticket as well.

Don’t Smoke Around Non-Smokers

Smoking is just a bad idea in general, since it does a lot of harm to a person’s body. However, if that person wants to smoke, that is their choice. However, the people around them have likely made the decision not to smoke, and have a right to be able to breathe clean, smoke-free air. This is especially true for growing children. That is why smoking is restricted to specific areas that are far away from where children may be present. This includes the inside of a vehicle.

What do you think of California’s law against smoking in cars with children? Is it the right thing to do, or should it come with harsher consequences? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Be Careful What You Share Online

Be Careful What You Share Online

Be Careful What You Share Online

Most people nowadays are in quite a rush to post something on social media after an exciting or infuriating event happens. Everyone is so used to that sharing, that often times, they forget to realize that they might be oversharing. There somethings that are better kept to oneself, and not posted online.

Everything that goes up onto a social media site can affect a person in one way or another. Creating a post can get a person attention, but sometimes it can come with more attention the person really wanted. For instance, in today’s modern world, most companies will examine a person’s social media accounts to determine if the person is the kind of employee they want to have working for them.

This is why a person needs to be very careful with what they share on social media, or even share with friends through electronic communications such as text and email. A person never really knows who might see things.

Good Tips for What Not to Post or Share

When it comes to a person posting things online, it is best to assume that nothing they share is private. This rings true even if a person has a private account. There are countless ways for people to get around that privacy. For instance, a friend of the posters could like the post and share it with their friends, and so on and so on. Perhaps a hacker gets ahold of the account and makes some of the more embarrassing or private posts public. Something like this could lead to problems later on for whoever created the post.

Another good bit of advice when it comes to making a social media posts is to never make one when upset. People don’t always make the best decisions when they are angry or upset, which means they would most likely make a bad post that could come back to haunt them. The worst part about them is these things are permanent. Even if the post is deleted, it can still exist elsewhere on the internet.

Even when it comes to messaging people, a person should be careful of what they send and to who. Some people can be trusted with private information and pictures, others can’t be. This is especially true when it comes to sending nude photos to significant others. If the couple experiences a bad break up, they may post the photos online as a form of revenge. While this is illegal, some people still do it and once those photos are online, they can never truly be taken down.

Things That Should Never Be Shared

There are a few basic things that should never be shared online, these things include:

  • Confidential information. This includes things such as social security numbers, home addresses, online account passwords, info that could be used as a clue to a password, and personal phone numbers. This information can be used to steal a person’s identity, find their home, or harass them over the phone.
  • Financial Information. This includes bank records, account numbers, and credit card information. Identity thieves can use this info to access those accounts and steal the money within.
  • A Person’s Schedule. This includes the person’s work schedule and any vacation plans they might have. Thieves can use this to know when a person isn’t home, and know exactly when to rob the person’s home.
  • Work Information. This includes clients that the person may work for, or coworkers they may work with. Sharing stuff like this can get the person into trouble at work if they are not careful.

A person should never share this kind of information about themselves online, and they definitely shouldn’t share this kind of information about others. Once this information is posted online, it can be there forever, despite having the post deleted. If it falls into the wrong hands, someone could find themselves in serious trouble.

Practice Safe Sharing Online

As fun as it can be to share exciting information with friends on social media, sometimes it is best to not share everything. Somethings can cause trouble if a person is not careful. Add that to the fact that once stuff is on the web, it can be very difficult to remove. That is why everyone should carefully consider everything they post online. Doing so could mean the difference between embarrassment, and staying sane, or getting the job the person really wants.

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

When Does Discipline Become Child Abuse?

A parent’s job is not easy. Raising a child takes a lot of effort and time, and that is putting things mildly. Taking care of a child and raising him or her to be a functional adult is tough. It is even tougher when parents have to worry about whether or not what they are doing could get them into legal trouble.
This kind of thought is often brought up when it comes to punishing a child, especially corporal punishment. With all of the debating that surrounds this subject, many parents are left wondering where the line between punishment and abuse is drawn. They wonder if it is okay for them to spank their child in a public place for misbehaving, and fear that if they do, someone will report them to the authorities.

Child Abuse Is Harmful

Child abuse is not something to be taken lightly. This terrible crime occurs when a parent or caregiver causes injury, emotional harm, risk of harm, or death to a child, whether they intended to or not. This abuse can come in all sorts of forms, from the obvious physical harm to other types of abuse, including:
• Sexual abuse
• Emotional abuse
• Neglect

Abuse like this can leave lasting impacts on a child well into adulthood. That is why people fight so hard to stop and prevent child abuse, and why it is illegal to abuse a child.

Where Is the Line?

Many adults nowadays grew up getting a spanking or two as a child. The spanking sent a very clear message to the child that that kind of behavior wouldn’t be tolerated. For some people, after getting just a few spankings, the threat alone of one would keep them in line from that point on.
However, nowadays this is a very controversial subject. There is a lot of debate amongst people on whether or not spanking a child is a form of child abuse. Here in the state of California, there is a somewhat clear line that separates corporal punishment from child abuse.

California Penal Code (PC) 273 covers many things relating to children, such as child endangerment and child abuse. The law makes it illegal to inflict and cruel or inhumane punishment on a minor under the age of 18. At first, this may sound like spanking would be illegal under this law, however that is not the case.

Spanking a child, with a bare hand or an object, is legal under California law so long as it falls within reasonable discipline. This is often determined by two factors:
1. Whether or not the punishment was warranted.
2. Whether or not the punishment was considered excessive.

This means that a parent is allowed to spank their child, provided there was reason to do so and that they do not overdo the punishment.
What Are the Consequences if a Parent is Guilty of Child Abuse?
Here in California, PC 273 is a wobbler offense. This means that it can either be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony. How the offense is charged is dependent on the facts of the incident in question.

When charged as a misdemeanor, PC 273 carries the following consequences:
• Up to 1 year in county jail.
• A max fine of $6,000.
• Some combination of fine and jail time.

When charged as a felony, PC 273 consequences increase to:
• 2, 4, or 6 years in state prison.
• A max fine of $6,000.
• Some combination of fine and prison time.

Aside from the legal consequences, being convicted for child abuse will also brand the person in the eyes of society, which can negatively affect the person for years to come.

Know the Difference

The bottom line is that here in California, a parent is allowed to spank their child so long as the punishment fits the crime. If a parent overdoes the punishment, then it could be considered abuse.

If a person suspects that a child may be the victim of abuse, they should report it to the proper authorities. Here in California, this means reporting the incident or case to the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). The CDSS has a 24-hour emergency hotline for Child Protective Services for each individual county, the numbers of which can be found here. It can also be a good idea to make a report with the local police or sheriff’s department.
What do you think of California’s ruling on spankings and child abuse in general? Let us know in the comments down below.

What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

What Happens to Parents Wrongfully Accused of Child Abuse?

Raising kids is no easy feat. It takes a lot of patience and hard work. Children can be unruly as they grow. They test boundaries and like to see what they can get away with. This can lead to standoffs between child and parent, which is a difficult encounter depending on the age of child. Arguing with a toddler can be especially difficult since they don’t have a great sense of logic at that age.

Due to that fact, not everyone is cut out to be a parent. Some people simply don’t have the temperament or patience. Unfortunately, this fact isn’t always realized ahead of becoming a parent. There are far too many instances of bad people doing horrible things to their children, or children under their care.

Child abuse is not something that is taken lightly. When Child Protective Services (CPS) or law enforcement agencies get a report of child abuse, they take it very seriously. After all, a child’s health and safety is on the line. It is far better to investigate a possible false claim and confirm that it is false, than it is to not investigate and realize too late that it was true. However, these false accusations can shake a good parent, and make them question everything about themselves and their child rearing methods.

How Investigations Are Conducted

As the debate of where does punishment end and abuse begin rages, many good parents out there are afraid that someone may report them for child abuse. It could come from some stranger who thought they saw something as a parent argued with their young child at a supermarket, or it could even come from an estranged spouse who is trying to get sole custody. Wherever it comes from, being accused of child abuse, even when the person didn’t do anything wrong, can be scaring.

Finding out about the report will be shocking. One moment the person is having a normal day, and the next thing they know police officers are at their home with a social worker, asking to talk about a report of abuse. At first, the parent will likely be shocked, but will brush it off to let the officers and social worker conduct their investigation. After all, the parent has nothing to hide.

However, as the social worker begins asking the parent and kids questions about the reported incident, the weight of the situation will begin to sink in. the parent will realize that, despite all of the hard work they put into being a parent, someone out there thinks that they would abuse their own child. That can fact can deal a major blow to that parent and their confidence. Perhaps whoever made the report did so because they are required to because of their job.

In most cases, the social service worker will be able to tell that the parent didn’t actually hurt the child, and the investigation will be over relatively quickly. False reports of child abuse are more common than people may realize. They are particularly common when parents are getting a divorce and fighting over custody. One parent may knowingly file a false report of abuse to try and gain an upper edge in the court battle. When this plan is inevitably figured out, the parent who filed the report will face severe repercussions.

Mandatory Reporting Professions

There are some professions out there that require people to report suspected incidents of child abuse. These are called mandatory reporting professions and include:
• Daycare workers
• Family practitioners
• Foster care workers
• Hospital personnel
• Police Officers
• School administrators
• Social workers
• Teachers

This is just a short list. The full list contains a lot of professions. Basically, if a job includes, even in just small doses such as a dental hygienist, looking after kids, then the person has to report any suspected child abuse.

False Reports Do Happen

Unfortunately, false reports of child abuse do happen, and since authorities are unable to tell straight away that a report is false, they have to treat it as a serious case. Failing to do so could risk a child’s health and safety.

If a parent is ever wrongfully accused, they need to remain calm, as best as they can. They have to trust that the situation will take care of itself and that the truth will be revealed.