This Thursday, August 1st, a number of new laws are set to go into effect, and I wanted to take a moment to let you know about some of them.
One of the publicized new laws is the “hands-free” law, which prohibits holding cell phones and other wireless communication devices while behind the wheel of a car. The new law allows drivers to use a cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music and get directions, but only using voice commands or single-touch activation, without holding the phone.
There are exceptions for obtaining emergency assistance if there is a threat to life and safety, or when in an authorized emergency vehicle while performing official duties.
Other notable new laws beginning August 1st include:
- More people will be allowed to administer Epi-Pens to help someone having an allergic reaction – now, “authorized individuals” will include people who successfully completes a training program.
- Provider-based clinics will now need to disclose facility fees for nonemergency services before treatment, to ensure patients are not surprised by additional charges related to the use of the facility, which result in higher out-of-pocket costs.
- A new law prohibits retaliation against residents or employees of a nursing home or a housing with services establishment who intends to file a complaint, reports maltreatment, or participates in a legal proceeding, among other protected actions.
- Community emergency medical technicians will now be permitted to serve on a basic life support ambulance service, and services provided by community paramedics via telemedicine will now be covered under Medical Assistance.
- The omnibus transportation bill included a requirement that slow vehicles must stay on the right side of the road and move out of the left-most lane to allow others to pass when practicable.
- A new law allows an officer to issue a citation to a driver if a work zone flagger has reported a traffic violation, such as speeding or violating traffic flagger directions.
- Light rail train drivers will now be subject to reckless and careless driving laws, with penalties of a fine of up to $3,000 and imprisonment for up to one year if a violation causes great bodily harm or death.
- There is a new requirement that Beginning Farmer Loan borrowers must be enrolled in a farm management program or have completed one within their first 10 years of farming.
- If a person fails a test to determine if they are operating a motor vehicle under the influence, their snowmobile, ATV, and motorboat operating privileges will now be revoked.
This is not a comprehensive list of new laws, so as always, if you have a question about a particular law change, please contact my office.
Have a great week,