Virginia laws taking effect July 1 ahead of the July 4th holiday
New laws will take effect on July 1 in Virginia. The new laws will have far-reaching impacts, and as many as 7% of all drivers that have lost their licenses may have their license reinstated as a result. The new laws come ahead of the July 4th holiday which will see 1.3 million Virginians travel this week. The holiday will include some 49 million Americans traveling this week.
Those that are traveling through Virginia will need to know the updated state laws.
Transportation changes are the most prevalent with an immediate ban on all cellphone usage in work zones. A previous push to band handheld cellphone usage across the state failed earlier in the year. Cellphone usage has been linked to an increase of motor vehicle crashes in the state. Texting or emailing while driving is still under a complete ban in the state.
Handheld speed cameras are also allowed to be used for the first time in highway work zones.
Motorists that fail to switch lanes or slow down when passing a first responder or officer on the side of the road will be charged with a misdemeanor for their first offense.
Officials have also enacted numerous laws that relate to electric scooters or skateboards. Scooters can be used on the far right side of the road only when riding with traffic. Scooters may be ridden on sidewalks, but scooters cannot exceed 20 MPH.
Other changes that relate to transportation is courts being able to dismiss car registration expiration tickets if a new registration is provided prior to the court date.
Anyone who is under the age of 21 will not be able to purchase tobacco products in the state. The age of purchase has been 18 years old, but the legal age has been raised to 21 statewide. The only exception to the rule is military members who are 18 years of age or older and can provide a military ID.
Rear-facing car seats are now required for any child until they reach the age of two. If the child meets the weight requirements for a forward-facing car seat, they may use the respective car seat.
Additional state laws which will go into effect on the first of the month include lottery winners who win over 10 million not having to disclose their name, hometown or how much they won if winning the lottery. Tommie’s law will also increase the penalty for animal cruelty to one to five years.