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When Should You Report Suspicious Activity?

When Should You Report Suspicious Activity?

When Should You Report Suspicious Activity?

The goal of law enforcement officers is to ensure that people follow the law and to keep people safe. Unfortunately, they can’t do anything unless they see the act or someone informs them of it. This is why law enforcement agencies always ask people to report any suspicious or criminal activity. Doing so allows them to enforce the law and help out people in need.

This is exactly what happened in Palm Beach, Florida when one person heard screams for help coming from a neighbor’s house. Officers quickly responded to the call, prepared to rescue someone in danger. However, it is safe to assume they had no idea what they were in for when the call came in.

Who Needed Help?

On December 29th, 2019 someone was minding her business at home when she began to hear screams from a woman. The woman was asking for help and to be let out. Upon hearing the screams, the neighbor did the right thing and called the police. She told them what she heard and officers rushed to the scene as quick as they could.

When officers arrived at the house where the screams were reported to be coming from, they found the homeowner in his driveway working on a car. The officers approached the man and when they informed him of why they were there, he laughed and offered to get the screamer. The homeowner went into his backyard and returned a few moments later holding a green parrot. This earned a laugh from many of the officers at the scene.

As it turns out, the homeowner has a 40-year-old parrot named Rambo. While he had been working on his wife’s brakes, he put Rambo into an outdoor cage in the backyard where the parrot liked to talk, sing, and scream. When the man was a kid, he taught the parrot to say: “Help, let me out,” when the parrot still lived in a cage.

After seeing that there was no criminal activity, the officers left the scene. The man later introduced his neighbor, the one who called the police, to Rambo. They both had a good laugh over the incident.

See Something, Say Something

The Department of Homeland Security has a program called See Something, Say Something. The program is meant to encourage people to report criminal and suspicious activity that they witness to their local law enforcement. They encourage people to use the 5W’s when making a report to the local authorities. The 5W’s are:

  • Who did you see?
  • What did you see?
  • When did you see it?
  • Where did it occur?
  • Why is it suspicious?

If a person is able to provide this information to the police or local sheriffs with this information, law enforcement should be able to deal with the situation.

Always Report Suspicious Activity

Even though the 5W’s refer to seeing something, this does apply to hearing things as well. This is exactly what the neighbor did in Palm Beach, Florida. She thought she heard someone in trouble and did the right thing by reporting it. In this instance, luckily, no one was actually in trouble. Even though no one was actually in trouble this time, it is better to be safe than sorry.

It is never a crime to report something that a person truly thinks is suspicious or a crime. So, if a person ever sees or hears something that they think is suspicious, they should always report it to their local authorities.

What Are Red Flag Laws?

What Are Red Flag Laws?

What Are Red Flag Laws?

As gun violence seems to continue to rise, many people are looking for protections and answers. Lawmakers are constantly busying themselves with new ways and ideas to combat the issue. One way of doing that is through a red flag law.

For those unaware, a red flag law allows family members, friends, co-workers, or law enforcement officers to file a petition against a person of unstable or at-risk behavior. When this happens, the authorities will confiscate any firearms that the person may have. The idea is that this will get the guns out of the hands of someone who might use them to hurt him/herself, or others.

Red Flags across the US and in California

Only a few states in the US have red flag laws. These states include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maryland
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Washington

California passed its red flag law in 2014 after a shooting involving a mentally unstable man occurred.

These types of laws were initially enacted more as a way of preventing suicides rather than mass shootings. In recent years, these laws have been used more and more to prevent mass shootings.

Basically, if someone close to a person is worried about the person’s mental health, or they feel like they are seeing red flags, they can go to local law enforcement with the problems. From there, they can request that the person’s firearms be removed before they are able to hurt themselves or someone else. If the court agrees with the person who brought forward their concerns, then they will have the guns confiscated and hopefully save lives.

The length of the confiscation varies from case to case much in the same way the length of a restraining order can be varied.

Without these types of laws, the only way to get a person’s guns away from them would be to have them committed to a psychiatric institution. Only then could the guns be confiscated.

The Opposition

Naturally, as with any idea, particularly those related to gun control, there is some opposition to these types of laws. People are afraid that this sort of thing can become a bit of a witch hunt. When it comes to matters as serious as this, there is a fear that officers will prefer to follow the mentality of being safer rather than sorry. After all, it is better for them to act and possibly keep people safe rather than not act and have someone get hurt.

Unfortunately, this could lead to people having their firearms confiscated without them ever intending to hurt themselves or others based off the words of someone else. This kind of thing could easily become abused if not careful. This is why there needs to be a good system in place to ensure that the guns being confiscated actually needed to be confiscated.

Other people claim that this kind of law infringes on their Second Amendment rights. However, when the issue is brought to court, it is typically determined that the law does not infringe on a person’s rights due to the fact that it does not restrict the rights of law-abiding, responsible citizens. After all, the law is only meant to take guns away from people who are at risk of being unstable.

In The End

Despite the controversy surrounding this law, and any kind of gun control, there are definitely times where this law has come in handy. There was an incident in 2018 at a San Diego car dealership where employees grew concerned about one of their own. It occurred shortly after the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017. One of the employees began to talk about how impressed he was with the shooter and how he’d like to do a similar thing. He even stated that if he was ever fired, he’d kill all of his coworkers.

Naturally, this worried many of the coworkers who reported this to the police. The police responded, and with all of the witnesses, they were able to get permission to confiscate the man’s guns.

In states where these kinds of laws have been around for longer periods of time, studies have noticed declines in gun violence, particularly suicides, which account for roughly 60% of all gun deaths in the US.

If a person is ever worried for their safety, or the safety of someone they know, they should report the issue to the local authorities. Thanks to California’s red flag law, the person’s guns may be confiscated if they are deemed unsafe.

What Counts as Stalking in California?

What Counts as Stalking in California?

What Counts as Stalking in California?

In healthy relationships, there is an equal amount of love and adoration from both parties involved. Unfortunately, not every relationship is a healthy one. There are a lot of one-sided relationships out there that are not good for either parties involved. What can be incredibly upsetting, and even scary, is when a person is way more into a person than that person is in to them.

In extreme cases, the person who is infatuated with the other could become a stalker. Having a stalker can be truly terrifying and can cause a person fear for their own safety. Due to this fact, the act of stalking someone is illegal here in the state of California. Anyone caught stalking another person will face legal consequences.

Stalking Explained

Being stalked by someone can be very upsetting, even traumatizing, which is why it is illegal to stalk someone in California. Penal Code (PC) 646.9 defines stalking as:

“Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking.”

That is a whole lot of legal speak that can be a bit confusing, so let’s break it down a little bit.

  • Willfully – For something to be considered stalking, a person has to willfully choose to commit the act, which means he or she did it one purpose.
  • Maliciously – Maliciously means that the person intentionally did a wrongful act with the intent of disturbing, annoying, or injuring the other person.
  • Harassment – Harassment means acting in a way that annoys, alarms, torments, or terrorizes another individual.
  • Credible Threat – A credible threat is one that the threatened individual would have reason to believe the person could carry out, and therefore causes the victim to fear for their safety, or the safety of their immediate family. The threat can be made verbally, in writing, or electronically.
  • Immediate Family – Means spouses, children, siblings, parents, grandparents, or any person who lives in the same house as the person in question.

Knowing all of that helps one understand the legal definition of stalking. Basically, if a person knowingly bothers another individual to the point where they begin to fear for the safety of themselves or their loved ones, that person is guilty of stalking in California.

The Penalties for Stalking

Under PC 646.9, stalking is a wobbler offense. This means that anyone found guilty of the crime of stalking can face either misdemeanor or felony charges. The severity of the charges is dependent on the facts of each particular case. Stalking charges will always be charged as a felony if the accused has been charged with stalking before, even if it was a different person, or if the stalker violated a restraining order.

With misdemeanor charges, a person faces:

  • Up to 1 year in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

With felony charges, a person faces:

  • Up to 5 years in state prison.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Felony probation.

On top of these charges, the victim of the stalking can also sue the stalker for damages due to the stalking. This can add up to a lot more money that the accused would have to pay.

Felony stalking charges can also negatively affect a person’s immigration status.

Everyone Just Wants to Be Safe

Everyone just wants to feel safe, and being constantly followed and harassed can be very disturbing. Being stalked can cause a person to worry all day, every day. Not just for their own safety, but for the safety of the people that they care about most. This constant worrying is bad for a person health, both mental and physical. This is why the act of stalking is illegal in California.

If a person is ever being harassed like this, they need to contact their local authorities. Doing so can get the stalker arrested and allow the person to feel safe once again.

What do you think of California’s stalking definition and law? Are the consequences of the crime fair, too much, or too little? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Do You Follow Click It or Ticket?

Do You Follow Click It or Ticket?

Every driver, and even most passengers have seen signs on the road that read: click it or ticket. The campaign has been around since its founding in 1993 when it originated in North Carolina. From there, the campaign spread across the country with some states embracing it more than others. The ones that have taken up the slogan and supported it with ads have seen substantial increases in seat belt usage.

However, over the past few decades, the slogan has become a bit stale. The warning is no longer hitting home like it used to. While some states are happy to keep repeating the same slogan over and over again, the state of Georgia decided to revamp the slogan, and they asked the general public for help.

Georgia Comes Up with New Slogans

Back in fall of 2019, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) opened up a contest for people to come up with fun driving slogans. There were five different categories and the rules were simple. The messages have to be under 63 characters and could not contain any profanities. As one can imagine, the contest got a lot of entries.

Last Thursday GDOT announced the winners of the contest. Each of the five categories got a first, second, and third place winner, with multiple categories receiving ties. Many of the winning slogans were very funny. The first place slogans for each category were:

  • General Safety – If you miss your exit it’s okay, we made more up ahead.
  • Distracted Driving – You look great but the selfie can wait. / Looking at the road is a great way to stay on it.
  • Impaired Driving – Driving half lit isn’t very bright.
  • Seat Belt – This is a sign you should buckle up. / If you don’t wear a seat belt, please be an organ donor.
  • Work Zone Safety – Look left, look right, keep workers in sight.

GDOT is planning to start posting these first place slogans, and the other finalists, on signs across the state as soon as possible.

California Seatbelt Laws

Here in California, the state still posts signs warning drivers to “click it or ticket.” Basically, if a person doesn’t wear a seat belt, they can get a ticket from law enforcement. This is enforced by Vehicle Code (VC) 27315, which states: any person 16 years or older must wear a seat belt when driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle.

This law also makes it so that vehicle owners have to keep their seat belts in good, working order.

  • The penalties for driving or riding without a seat belt is a small ticket.
  • $20 base fine for a first offense.
  • $50 base fine for any subsequent offense.

In some instances, a court can order a person to go to a traffic school instead of paying a fine if it is the person’s first seat belt offense.

Another important note is that the amounts listed are just the base amounts. Court fees and fines will likely be added on to those numbers, making them more expensive.

No points are issued to a person’s driver’s license if they are accused of this crime.

A Creative Way to Ensure Safety

There is no denying that the couple decade’s old slogan of click it or ticket has grown stale. It has become so common place that some people have begun to ignore it even though wearing a seat belt can easily save a person’s life. Wearing a seat belt is very important, which is likely why the state of Georgia decided to create some new slogans to encourage people to do so.

The state even went the extra step to ensure that the slogans were interesting by having the general public create them. The idea definitely worked and the Georgia Department of Transportation was gifted with some real gems.

What do you think of Georgia’s slogan competition and the selected winners? Do you think the state of California should do the same thing? What about California’s seat belt law? Is it a good idea, and do the penalties for not wearing a seat belt seem fair, or do they need to be reevaluated? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Are You Prepared for a California Earthquake?

Are You Prepared for a California Earthquake?%

Are You Prepared for a California Earthquake?

As Puerto Rico is rocked by large earthquakes, many people are being reminded of the dangers of earthquakes. Being wary and prepared for earthquakes is very important for anyone who lives in an earthquake prone area, such as California.

With the rarity of earthquakes, it can be easy to forget about them altogether. Then one hits and sends everyone into a panic because they’ve forgotten what they need to do when an earthquake strikes. This is why it is so important to have reminders and practice for earthquakes frequently. Doing so can help a person react appropriately in the event of an earthquake, and be prepared for what follows.

What to Do During an Earthquake

Depending on the size of the quake, the results can be extremely disastrous. Buildings can crumble and roadways can be ruined by all of the shaking. That doesn’t even take into account what can happen to a person.

In order for someone to stay safe during an earthquake, they need to follow the three basic steps:

  • Drop.
  • Cover.
  • Hold On.

Should Minors Be Banned By Law from Having a Cellphone?

Should Minors Be Banned By Law from Having a Cellphone?

Should Minors Be Banned By Law from Having a Cellphone?

Technology has become such an integral part of everyone’s day to day lives. Most people use some form of smart technology every single day of their life from computers to cellphones. Most adults are well aware of how amazing and helpful this kind of technology is after spending their childhoods without it. This causes many adults to say the age old adage: Kids today don’t know how good they’ve got it.

In a way, this is very true. Kids today don’t have to go to libraries and rent books to write a paper thanks to the internet. They don’t have to go to the local video rental store to pick out a movie to watch. They don’t even have to rewind their movies when they’re done! The internet also makes it possible for kids to constantly stay connected with their friends and peers. Sadly, this last benefit does seem to be a bit problematic.

Social media can be nice, but it can also be addicting and detrimental to a person’s mental health. This is especially true for kids, which is why one lawmaker in Vermont has proposed a change how minors use cellphones.

The Problem with Cellphones

Cellphones grant a person access to the internet, and therefore the world, whenever they want it. This can be very beneficial in some instances and troublesome in others. For instance, cellphones can be very distracting while driving. If a driver looks at a phone while behind the wheel, they are paying less attention to the road in front of them. This makes it more likely for them to cause an accident with deadly consequences. This is especially true for teens who are more easily distracted.

Another issue with cellphones is that not only do they give a person constant access to the world, they also give the world constant access to the person. Thanks to social media and phone notifications, it can be hard for a person to get away from some people for a while without abandoning the phone altogether for a few hours. This is hard enough for an adult to do, since social media is addicting. Just think of how hard it is for kids to put down their phones.

When kids don’t put down their phones, they can get bombarded by messages from friends and peers at school. Sometimes, these messages aren’t nice or friendly at all. Sadly, there have been many cases where bullying at school has followed a child home through their phone and pushed that kid to the brink where they make a decision they can never come back from.

A Vermont Senator’s Response

In an effort to reduce teen driving accidents and suicides caused by cellphone usage, one Vermont lawmaker, Senator John Rodgers, has introduced a bill that would restrict cellphone usage amongst minors. The bill states that people under the age of 21 are not mature enough to own guns, smoke cigarettes, and drink alcohol so they are also not mature enough to own and use cellphones.

The major talking point about this bill is how online bullying through social media, which can be accessed on cellphones, can lead to suicide. Apparently, in Vermont the legislature has recently been talking about suicide prevention and how best to protect and provide aide to people who need it.

Sen. Rodgers stated that he doesn’t expect the bill to get passed and that he probably wouldn’t vote for it himself. As a supporter of the Second Amendment, he seems to have presented the bill more as a way of showing how cellphones can be more dangerous than guns.

Should Minors Have Cellphones?

It is hard to deny how addicting cellphones can be. Even as adults who might have grown up without cellphones or social media, it can sometimes be hard to log out or put the device down. The sad thing is that adults have more self-control than minors, and so what is addicting for us is very addicting for minors. This is why kids are often glued to their phones.

This kind of behavior can be problematic for minors by exposing them to a whole lot of negative things that they may not be ready to deal with on their own. This is why parents need to be aware of what their children are doing online. They also need to make sure that their kids know that they can always come and talk to them about anything. Failing to do so could have disastrous results that no parent should ever have to deal with.

What do you think of this proposed bill in Vermont? Is it a good idea to prevent minors, anyone under 21, from having a cellphone, or is it a terrible and impractical one? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

What to Do When You See a Downed Power Line

What to Do When You See a Downed Power Line

What to Do When You See a Downed Power Line

The modern age is something that everyone has gotten used to. Pretty much everyone expects all of their technology to work the minute they need it. People often forget everything that goes into making even the simplest bits of technology work. Everything nowadays runs off electricity and getting it to where it is needed is a monumental undertaking.

Electricity doesn’t just come out of thin air. A lot of effort goes into producing and transferring electricity from where it is generated to wherever it is needed. The best, and most common, way to transfer electricity is through power lines. Composed of metal cables, power lines are capable of transferring large amounts of electricity over large distances. For the most part, these methods work great, but every once in a while things go wrong.

The Dangers of Downed Power Lines

While it is rare that power lines go down, it is possible. This is especially true when the weather gets rough with winds and/or storms.

Despite what movies and television shows depict on the screen, downed power lines typically will not spark and sputter. There is no huge display of electricity. Instead, the cord will just sit there and look like it is perfectly safe. However, it is anything but. As mentioned earlier, power lines carry a whole lot of electricity through them. The flow does not stop just because the line is broken.

A person should never go near or touch a downed power line. If they do, the electricity can flow through the person and severely injure or kill them. Drivers should also be wary of downed power lines and avoid them at all costs. If a power line falls onto a car, do not get in or out of the vehicle. The vehicle can become charged with electricity and if the person steps out of the vehicle, they will ground the system and all of that energy will flow out of the car, through the person, and into the ground.

If a person is in their vehicle when the power line falls on it, they need to remain in the vehicle until professional help arrives. If a person comes across a downed power line, they should keep their distance, at least 50 feet away, but stay in the area to make sure that anyone else who comes by knows of the downed line.

The bottom line is that people need to avoid downed power lines and report them immediately.

Reporting Downed Power Lines

When a person finds a downed power line, they should immediately call the local utility company or 911. Alert them to the problem so they can send experts to come deal with the situation.

If the event occurs during a period of high wind or bad storms, be prepared for a slower response. There could be several downed power lines that all need to be dealt with. Just remain calm, make sure people keep a safe distance from the line, and patiently wait for help to arrive. People should never try to fix the problem on their own.

Keep Your Distance and Report It

Power lines are such an integral part of life for everyone. Without those transmission lines, homes would not have the power people need within them. This is why power lines are such common sights in the modern world.

While it is rare that power lines break and become downed, this does happen from time to time. It is important for everyone to be aware of this fact, and to know what to do in the event they ever come across a downed line. While they may not look dangerous, a person should stay at least 50 feet away and immediately report the downed line to the local utility company or to emergency services at 911.

Why Are People Smashing Car Windows?

Why Are People Smashing Car Windows?

Why Are People Smashing Car Windows?

Most law abiding citizens see a locked door or window and assume the building or car is inaccessible. However, there are people out there who view those barriers as minor obstacles. If they want inside, they will get inside. Nothing is going to stop them, not even a pane of glass.

When a criminal sees something they want, particularly something that is valuable, not much can stop them from trying to get the item. This is especially true when all that stands between them and their prize is a single pane of glass. With the right tool, they could have that window shattered in seconds, have their prize, and be out of there before anyone can catch on to what has happened. This can prove to be very problematic, especially for car owners.

Smash and Grab Crimes Moving Further South

For a while now, the city of San Francisco, and other parts of Northern California, have had to deal a rise in smash and grab crimes, particularly with their vehicles. If a driver made the unfortunate decision to leave something in their car while they shopped or went inside somewhere, a thief would come along, see the item in question, break the car window, and take off with the stolen goods.

Sometimes, there may not have been anything of value in the car, other than a bag of unknown stuff. The thief saw that and decided to take a chance on the bag, hoping there could be something of value hidden inside. Often times, the crooks may even be working in groups. One team breaks into the vehicles and then hands off the stolen goods to a getaway team.

There are entire gangs out there that have made this sort of crime their business.

It is easy to see how this could be very frustrating and upsetting for a person. Not only did someone steal something from them, but the thief broke the vehicle’s window as well.

As San Francisco and the rest of Northern California seemed to get ahold of the situation and even see a slight drop in the crimes, Los Angeles and Southern California are seeing a sudden increase in these types of crimes. The Bay Area saw a 3% drop in these types of crimes while Los Angeles saw a 30% increase.

Experts believe this is due to an oversaturation of the crimes up north. The belief is that some of the gangs that have been committing these crimes are moving south to the ‘new market’ in Los Angeles and the surrounding areas.

Consequences of Smash and Grab in California

Smash and grab crimes are essentially breaking and entering crimes. Here in California, the act of breaking and entering falls under burglary, which is made illegal under California Penal Code (PC) 459. This is due to the fact that state law does not require forced entry for a crime to be considered burglary.

The law states: “Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store, mill, barn, stable, outhouse or other building, tent, vessel… car… vehicle… with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.”

This means that anyone caught breaking into a car to steal something from within the car is guilty of burglary. Burglary in California is broken into two sections, first- and second-degree burglary. First-degree burglary occurs when a person breaks into any residence, basically any place where a person might live. Second-degree burglary is a burglary of anything else, including cars.

Second-degree burglary is a wobbler offense in California, meaning it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on how the prosecution wants to proceed. As a misdemeanor, it comes with:

  • Up to 1 year in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

As a felony, the crime comes with:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Keep Your Stuff Safe

Regardless of where a person lives in California, no one wants to have their stuff stolen. They definitely don’t want one of their car windows being shattered. In an effort to avoid that kind of thing happening to them, a person needs to be aware of what they are leaving behind in their vehicles. A person should never leave behind valuables, and should avoid leaving behind bags of stuff as well. Even if there is nothing of value in the bag, the thieves won’t know that.

If something has to be left in a car, then it should be left hidden. This way, there is no incentive for a criminal to break into the vehicle.

What do you think has caused this rise in smash and grab crimes here in California? What about how California view burglaries and the consequences for those crimes? Do the consequences match the crime, or do they need to be reevaluated? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Are Home Security Systems Safe?

Are Home Security Systems Safe?

Are Home Security Systems Safe?

In the modern world where information can be shared in an instant, everyone is just looking for ways to be safe. Every single day, people are bombarded by stories in the news of the latest tragedies and horrific events that have happened across the country and around the world. Eventually, all of these terrible stories begin to sink in and people start to worry for their own safety.

This has led to a rise in home security systems as people try to protect the things they care most about from the outside world. One popular system is Ring, which is an Amazon owned company. The relatively cheap systems are adored by people for their ease of setup and instant connectivity that they provide.

Unfortunately, the safety of these devices has recently come into question as bad people begin to hack into these devices.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Home Security Systems

The idea with all home security systems is to create a safe and monitored area around the house to ensure that anyone trying to harm that safety is seen. This way, if anyone tries to break into the home or attack the people living there, they will be captured on the camera and that evidence can be handed over to the proper authorities.

Combine this amazing technology with Wi-Fi and people are able to keep an eye on their home no matter where they may be, provided they have an internet connection on their phone. This technology has been so helpful that some parents have even begun to use it as a way of keeping an eye on their kids by setting the cameras up within specific rooms of their house. Some of these systems even come with speakers that allow users to communicate with the people in their home.

This may sound like a great way to ensure your kids are safe, however, it isn’t always as secure as people would think. These home security systems are always on, and always connected to the internet. This means that anyone could gain access to the feed and see and hear everything that the cameras pickup. They can even access the speakers and talk to or harass the people in their home.

This is exactly what happened to one Mississippi family who had a Ring camera setup in their 8-year-old daughter’s bedroom. Someone managed to hack into the family’s account and began to harass the girl in her room. A Florida family had a similar incident where a hacker set off the alarm and shouted racial slurs at the family.

The hackers have been able to access these Ring accounts with simple software that applies compromised login credentials until a match is found. Basically, this means that if someone’s login information was compromised on another site, this program has access to it and can apply it to the ring account for the hacker. If the person uses the same login information on multiple accounts, then they are in serious trouble.

Practice Good Password Tactics

Accessing someone’s home security system without permission could be considered a crime under both federal and state laws here in California. Federal law makes it a crime to wrongfully access a computer or personal data without the owner’s consent. Doing so can land a person in federal prison for 10 years.

More and more consumer privacy groups are warning people against getting home security systems. They argue that it can be dangerous to setup devices that are always listening and watching a home while connected to the internet. These recent incidents confirm that worry.

If a person still wants to use a home security system, then they need to take the proper precautions. This means not using the same login information and password as another account they might have anywhere on the internet. It also means setting up two-step authentication. With two step authentication, usually a message is sent to a registered phone or other device anytime someone tries to login to the account. This makes it a lot harder for people to illegally access something they shouldn’t have access to.

What do you think of home security systems? Do they provide extra and needed security, or are they just opening a home up to hackers? Is that protection worth the extra risk? Let us know what you think in the comments down below.

Speeding Is A Big Deal

Speeding Is A Big Deal

Speeding Is A Big Deal

There are so many different laws here in California that it is practically impossible for a single person to remember every law within the state. However, there are some laws that everyone knows about and yet choose to ignore. There are a few select laws out there that people break all of the time, some even daily, because they don’t view it as a big deal.

A perfect example of this are speed limits. There are many drivers out there, especially here in California that view speed limits as suggestions. Some people view the limits as the slowest possible speed they will go. For the others, anyone going the speed limit is driving too slow. Still, speeding is illegal and incredibly dangerous, and should be avoided.

California Speeding Law

Here in California, speeding is made illegal under Vehicle Code (VC) 22350. This law makes it illegal for a person to drive faster than is considered safe for the circumstances. The exact wording is:

“No person shall drive a vehicle on the highway at a speed greater than is reasonable or prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, the traffic on, and the surface and width of, the highway, and in no event at a speed which endangers the safety of person or property.”

In basic terms, this means that a person cannot drive at speeds on a road that a normal person would view as fast or dangerous. This is especially true on smaller or more crowded roads. This also includes when the weather makes the road dangerous through rain, snow, wind, and fog.

A driver is expected to exercise the proper caution and restraint needed in different situations. Just because a road has a certain speed limit does not mean a driver has to do that speed limit all the time. Sometimes the weather may require slowing down.

Consequences of Speeding in California

There are three different consequences a person can face when they are caught speeding by law enforcement:

  • They can receive a fine and have their license suspended.
  • Receive points on their driver’s record.
  • Be held negligent for any accidents that occur due to the speeding.

When it comes to fines and license suspension, the exact amounts depend on how fast the person was going. If the speeds were under 100 miles per hour (MPH), then the person will face the following:

  • $35 for 1 to 15 MPH over the limit.
  • $70 for 16 to 25 MPH over the limit.
  • $100 for 26 MPH over the limit.

If the speeds where over 100 MPH, then the person will face the following for a first time offense:

  • A base fine of $500.
  • 30 day license suspension.

A second offense of driving over 100 MPH in 3 years comes with:

  • A base fine of $750.
  • 6 month license suspension.

A third offense of driving over 100 MPH in 5 years comes with:

  • A base fine of $1,000.
  • 1 year license suspension.

On top of the fines, a person will also receive a point on their driver’s license. Acquiring too many points within a time period can lead to a person having their license suspended. If a driver gets:

  • 4 points in 12 months,
  • 6 points in 24 months, or
  • 8 points in 36 months,

Then they will be designated a negligent driver and have their drivers’ license suspended.

Lastly, since driving at excessive speeds makes it more likely for a person to cause an accident, drivers who are caught speeding will be held responsible for any accidents that they caused. This means they will also have to face the consequences of any accidents that result from the speeding.

Don’t Speed While Driving

Many drivers fail to realize just how dangerous and problematic speeding can be. Speeding does increase the chances of a driver causing an accident. This is especially true in inclement weather, which is why the state law mentions that drivers need to adjust their speed to match their conditions. If a driver wants to avoid any trouble and avoid paying fines fines, then they need to follow the posted speed limits and adjust those speeds to match conditions. By doing so, a driver reduces the chances of causing an accident and getting a ticket.

What do you think of speeding and the state’s laws on it? Are the consequences for speeding fair or too extreme? Let us know in the comments down below.