Tuesday, June 30, 2009

New Indiana laws go into effect 7/1/09

Indianapolis - A slew of new laws go into effect Wednesday, impacting everyone from smokers to homeowners to teen drivers.Governor Daniels signed about 180 laws passed by the General Assembly during the 2009 session. (See the complete list here.)

A few that take effect July1 are:

The Puppy Mill Law: This law requires commercial dog breeders to register with the state and toughens penalties for animal abuse or neglect.

The Foreclosure Law: It requires mediation between homeowners and lenders before a foreclosure is approved.

The internet voter registration law: This law allows Hoosiers with drivers licenses or state ID cards to register or update their voter information online.

The safe cigarettes law: All smokers in Indiana will now purchase fire safe cigarettes. They are identified by an FSC above the bar code.Less citrate-burning agents and bands on the paper that are less porous require smokers to continue inhaling to keep the burn going. The fire safe cigarettes eventually go out if left unattended. According to the National Fire Incident Reporting System, 138 fires in Indiana were caused by cigarettes in 2008 causing 4 deaths and 11 injuries."Those of us who are used to the old taste, don't like the new taste if you start smoking, but in a month, you'll never know the difference," said Stephanie Guerrero, Low Bob's Tobacco. The school bus driver law: This law imposes a $500 fine if school bus drivers don't check for students still on the bus at the end of each route.

The fetal homicide law: This law increases the prison term for anyone who murders or attempts to murder a pregnant woman and causes the loss of her unborn child.

The teen driving law : Starting Wednesday, cell phones are banned for drivers under 18 except for 911 calls. Teens cannot drive at night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the six months after getting their license. They also cannot take friends around for that same time period.Law enforcement officers are asking drivers and parents to voluntarily obey the law which aims to keep teens, and those they share the road with, safe."If we see someone with a cell phone up to their ear, are we going to pull them over? Not likely to happen, could happen, but not likely to happen. What will happen is someone will be involved in a crash and that person is going to say, that person was talking on a cell phone when they ran into me," Sgt Dave Bursten, Indiana State Police. Teens caught violating the new law will result in a $500 fine and points on their license.Next July, the graduated licensing part of the Teen Driving law will take effect.

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