With the start of the new fiscal year on July 1 in many states, several changes in safety laws go into effect.
The Washington Post recently compiled a list of all sorts of new state laws. We’ve plucked the safety and health highlights (the new laws take effect July 1 unless otherwise noted):
- Alabama: Courts can require anyone convicted of driving under the influence to install in their vehicle an ignition interlock that reads the driver’s blood-alcohol level.
- Colorado: The first state to OK possession of small amounts of recreational marijuana has a new $9 million grant program for research into the impacts of medicinal marijuana.
- Connecticut: A concussion education plan for children who play sports will be developed by the state board of education.
- Georgia: The new Safe Carry Protection Act allows licensed gun carriers to bring the weapons into government buildings that don’t have security checkpoints. Restaurants, bars and churches can all decide whether to allow guns on their property. Also: The speed limit on highways in urban areas increases from 65 to 70 mph.
- Hawaii: Driving while using a cell phone now brings a $297 fine for first offense. Also: Smokers on the Big Island will have to be 21 to purchase tobacco products. Retailers will be fined $100 if they don’t post signs about the new minimum age.
- Idaho: Concealed weapons are now allowed for gun owners on college campuses. Also: Speed limits on state highways go from 75 to 80 mph.
- Indiana: A new law allows motorcycles and bicycles to go through red lights that last longer than two minutes after looking both ways several times. (Fifteen other states have similar laws.)
- Kansas: State law regarding guns now trumps any local laws. Gun owners will be able to openly carry in a number of public places.
- Kentucky: As of July 15, anyone who receives an emergency protective order will be able to receive a temporary concealed-carry permit without the usual safety training.
- Minnesota: E-cigarettes will be banned in daycares, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
- New Jersey: The fine for a first offense of texting while driving is now $200, even if drivers use a hands-free device or are stopped in traffic or at a red light.
- South Dakota: Texting while driving will result in a $100 fine, unless a hands-free device is used or if someone sends a message to an emergency dispatcher.
- Tennessee: People can break into locked cars if they see children inside in danger, call 911 and remain with the child until help arrives.
- Vermont: Drivers aren’t allowed to smoke while children under age 8 are in the vehicle. Cigarettes are banned at hospitals, schools, daycare and all state property, except the Veterans Home.