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New laws go into effect July 1

Friday, July 2, 2010

Be ready to drive safe or empty your wallets.

A number of new laws came into effect Thursday (July 1) that will significantly increase the fines for simple traffic violations.

If caught speeding more than 10 miles per hour over the speed limit, the fine has now increased from $92 to $133, and the more you speed, the more you pay.

Although that may be a startling increase, it is nothing next to the $112 increase in the fine for failure to stop at a stop sign. That fine increased from $88 to $200.

If caught without your seat belt, be prepared to pay $33 more than before due to the fine increase.

New seat belt laws also came into effect as of July 1 that require all persons under the age of 18 to use either a safety seat or seat belt at all times unless all seat belts are already in use.

If children under the age of 18 are caught un-belted, it will result in a $200 fine.

News laws also make texting while driving a no-no, resulting in a minimum fine of $30, with harsher penalties if an accident occurs.

Drivers under the age of 18 years old cannot use an electronic device while driving unless it is installed in the vehicle or is operated through permanently installed equipment.

While drivers over the age of 18 can still make calls, no drivers are allowed to read, write, or send a text message while driving.

For more information about the new laws, refer to Senate Files 2378 and 2381 or visit the website http://coolice.legis.state.ia.us/Cool-IC....

Numerous laws that are not traffic related also took place on July 1.

Also knows as the Ed Thomas Bill, the Mental Health Hospitalization Notification act assures that law enforcement will be notified when individuals hospitalized for a serious mental impairment are released from care if there is an arrest warrant or pending charges against the individual.

According to another new Iowa law, if a person is convicted of domestic abuse or is the subject of a permanent protective order, the person will lose the ability to own guns.

A new law will also take effect that allows unemployment benefits for an individual who left employment due to relocation of their spouse for a military assignment in another area.

For more information about the new laws, visit http://iowahouse.org/.

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