cloudy
Tuesday November 13th, 2018 11:48PM

Distracted driving, other laws set to take effect today

By The Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) — Several new laws will go into effect in Georgia Sunday, which marks the beginning of a new fiscal year for the state budget.

Among them is a highly publicized measure that will make it illegal to hold or operate a cell phone by hand while driving. Dozens of other bills and resolutions passed by the state legislature during the 2018 session will also take effect.

Here is a look at some of the major legislation coming into effect Sunday:

___

DISTRACTED DRIVING

Starting Sunday, Georgia is joining more than a dozen other states in banning hands-on cellphone use while driving.

Under the "Hands-Free Georgia Act," drivers will not be allowed to hold a phone or use any other part of their body to support the device. Violators will face fines of up to $150 and as many as three points on their license.

First-time offenders could avoid the fine by appearing in court with proof that they have purchased a hands-free device.

___

MEDICAL MARIJUANA

The state's medical marijuana program will expand Sunday to cover patients with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as intractable pain.

Backers say the changes will give patients suffering from PTSD and intractable pain an alternative to highly addictive opioid painkillers.

The program, which allows people with certain conditions to possess low-potency marijuana oil, began in 2015 and has since been expanded to cover more conditions. Previously covered conditions include cancer, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and AIDS.

___

BREAKING A LEASE

Victims who have received a domestic violence order in either criminal or civil court proceeding will be eligible to terminate a residential lease early without penalty beginning Sunday.

Proponents of the new law say victims who are trying to escape a dangerous environment should not have to worry about such fees.

A tenant would need to provide a landlord with a written notice at least 30 days before breaking their lease.

___

FREE CREDIT FREEZE

A new law set to take effect Sunday will prohibit consumer credit reporting agencies from charging Georgia residents to freeze their credit report.

Placing a freeze on your credit is a security measure that can be used to combat identity theft. It essentially prevents creditors from obtaining your credit report, making it nearly impossible to open a new account.

Credit reporting agencies were previously allowed to charge a fee of up to $3 to freeze or unfreeze a report.

___

LOCAL LIMITS ON FIREWORKS

County and municipal officials in Georgia will have more authority to pass general noise ordinances effectively limiting the use of fireworks beginning Sunday.

Under the law, however, fireworks will be permitted statewide on New Year's Eve and Day, the weekend before Memorial Day, July 3 and 4 and Labor Day.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Politics, Georgia News, Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Business, AP Online - Georgia News, AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Major cities, tiny towns host immigration policy protests
Thousands of protesters across America are marching Saturday _ in major cities and tiny towns _ to demand President Donald Trump's administration reunite the divided families
1:37PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Spanish boat saves 60 migrants but Italy locks its ports
A Spanish rescue boat has plucked 60 migrants from a rubber dinghy in waters off Libya
1:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez misses training
James Rodriguez was the only Colombia player who didn't take part in training, raising further doubts about whether he will be fully fit for the World Cup knockout match against England
1:25PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Officials: San Francisco is 1st major US city with $15 wage
Officials say San Francisco will become the first major U.S. city to increase its minimum wage to $15 an hour Sunday under a ballot measure approved by voters in 2014
12:22PM ( 1 hour ago )
Melania Trump weighs migrant visits with husband's policy
Melania Trump weighs migrant visits with husband's strict immigration policy
11:22AM ( 2 hours ago )
News Guide: Texas special election remains low profile
Texas' 27th Congressional District is holding its third election of the year with Saturday's special election to replace Republican U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold, who resigned in April
10:45AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
NSA deletion of call records raising questions
National Security Agency is deleting more than 685 million call records the government obtained from telecommunication companies since 2015
1:31AM ( 12 hours ago )
Trump to move quickly on Supreme Court nominee
President Donald Trump says he plans to announce his choice to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy on July 9.
12:17AM ( 13 hours ago )
The Latest: ACLU says government wrong to detain families
The ACLU is disputing a Trump administration claim that it has to detain families indefinitely because of a court ruling barring it from separating them
12:05AM ( 13 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Barbs for Bezos but Bill Gates largely admired in Seattle
The Seattle region is home to the two richest men in America, but while Amazon's Jeff Bezos is blamed by some for rising rents and clogged city streets, Bill Gates is largely admired
12:44PM ( 1 hour ago )
Grief in small town: March honors victims of newsroom attack
More than 1,000 people have streamed through Maryland's capital to honor five people slain in a newspaper office
11:00AM ( 2 hours ago )
Rocket developed by Japan startup in flames after liftoff
A rocket developed by a Japanese startup company has exploded seconds after liftoff in northern Japan, bursting into flames
10:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
AP Online - Georgia News
AP Online Headlines - Georgia News
Major cities, tiny towns host immigration policy protests
Thousands of protesters across America are marching Saturday _ in major cities and tiny towns _ to demand President Donald Trump's administration reunite the divided families
1:37PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Spanish boat saves 60 migrants but Italy locks its ports
A Spanish rescue boat has plucked 60 migrants from a rubber dinghy in waters off Libya
1:31PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez misses training
James Rodriguez was the only Colombia player who didn't take part in training, raising further doubts about whether he will be fully fit for the World Cup knockout match against England
1:25PM ( 21 minutes ago )
Evangelical leaders downplay potential Roe v. Wade reversal
Religious right downplays excitement on Roe v Wade reversal as Supreme Court conservative shift looms
1:15PM ( 31 minutes ago )
The Latest: Gimenez in for Uruguay; 2 changes for Portugal
Jose Maria Gimenez is back in Uruguay's starting lineup for the round of 16 match against Portugal at the World Cup. Portugal has recalled Goncalo Guedes and Bernardo Silva after both started the last group game on the bench
1:14PM ( 32 minutes ago )