In case you haven’t heard a few new driving-related laws go into effect tomorrow, October 1 — so sit up, pay attention, and for god’s sake, put away your cell phone while you’re driving. Some things to keep an eye out for:
- Driving and talking on your cell phone will now be a primary offense. That means a cop can pull you over for this reason alone, rather than just adding this infraction to a previous charge. The fee has also been upped to $75 (from $40); if it’s your second violation, you’ll have to pony up $125, and $175 for your third.
- Seat belts are now mandatory for everyone in the car. (In the past, adults riding in the back seat didn’t have to wear them.) Fines for this will be $50.
- Okay, this one isn’t new, but it bears repeating (and perhaps tattooing on the forehead of certain drivers): texting while driving is illegal. That includes not only writing texts, but also checking them. And yes, this applies even when you’re stopped at a traffic light.
- There are plenty of other laws, dealing with everything from overweight vehicles to “cannabimimetic agents” (that is, synthetic pot) to establishing Centenarians Day. Read the full list here, courtesy WBALTV.