July 1: New state and provincial laws kick in

| 7/1/2009

Although it’s not officially declared as such, July 1 is “new law day” across the U.S. In many states, bills passed in the last session of the legislature become law Wednesday.

Here’s a sampling of a few laws that affect truckers:

In Ohio, the split speed limit has ended, and truckers will be able to do 65 miles an hour just like cars.

In Florida – where 152 new laws take effect – drivers who aren’t wearing their seat belt can now be pulled over for that offense alone.

In Colorado, another $55 is being tacked on to truck registration fees to pay for roads and bridges.

In Kansas, the law limiting use of the left lane for passing applies to highways outside city limits. Warnings will be issued until July 2010.

Tennessee and Virginia are enforcing bans on texting while driving. An Indiana law banning texting for teens 18 and under is also in effect.

Florida is banning local governments from applying a fee for emergency personnel responding to a vehicle accident. Ambulance services are not affected.

Fuel taxes in Maine are increasing 1.1 cents per gallon. The diesel tax now is 30.7 cents, and the gas tax is 29.5 cents.

Virginia law increases the maximum gross vehicle, axle weight limits for large trucks equipped with idle-reduction technology.

And north of the border – in Ontario and Quebec – hard enforcement started Wednesday, July 1, on speed limiters, with penalties starting at about $390 for truckers who haven’t limited their speed to 105 kilometers an hour.

 – Compiled by Land Line Now and Land Line Magazine staff