If you are planning to travel or stay for a while in the so-called “City of Angels,” let it be a reminder for you that driving around the city can be very complicated.

In a densely-populated city interlaced with major thoroughfares and roads that constantly attract daily traffic, being knowledgeable of L.A.’s roads is very important. If you are a tourist, it is important for you to adapt to the city’s traffic laws, as well as to traffic etiquette and unique customs.

The succeeding paragraphs will discuss important traffic laws that you need to know when driving in Los Angeles. Getting informed about these laws will help you avoid being slapped with an expensive traffic ticket, and will also prevent you from getting involved in an accident.

L.A. traffic laws

•    In Los Angeles, as with many other U.S. cities, beating the red light is a violation. Before, the city used red light cameras to capture an image of a vehicle running through an intersection even if the traffic light has turned red. However, in July last year, the City Council unanimously voted to end the red light camera program due to excessive fines. If you are planning to drive in L.A., better not drive past the red light—police patrol officers may still chase you down even after you’re already a considerable distance away.

•    Talking on the phone is not allowed while driving in Los Angeles, unless you have a hands-free device and if you are already 18 years or older. You are also not allowed to type, send or read a text message from your mobile phone while driving. Remember that the purpose of these laws is to lessen your chances of getting involved in an accident due to cell phone use while driving.

•    If you are travelling to L.A. as a family, you must keep your children secured with a restraint system. Failure to do so will constitute a traffic violation. If your child (or any one of your children) hasn’t reached his or her 8th birthday, he or she should be restrained in booster seats. If your child is younger than 8 but is 4’9” in height, he or she may use a safety seat belt. Remember to always have them seated at the back of your vehicle at all times.

Seeking legal help

Los Angeles laws must be followed to ensure your safety on your travel within the city. Be wary, though, as the city is prone to accidents. In fact, in 2008, nearly 700 were killed and an estimated 52,000 were injured because of road accidents in the city.

If you are a tourist visiting L.A. and you happened to be at the receiving end of a road accident, it is always important to first seek medical attention outright. After which, you can hire an expert Los Angeles accident lawyer to establish a personal injury claim against the liable party.