Listed below are some of the new laws that took effect in Virginia on Monday, July 1, including one Virginia Farm Bureau advocated for this year.
Landowners are now protected from liability claims from trespassers as it codifies common law. Previously, landowners owe no duty of care to trespassers except in a very few circumstances. This law locks in those protections. This was a Farm Bureau success this year.
Other laws that may be of interest:
The Governor’s Transportation Funding bill is now in effect, which includes the overhaul of Virginia’s transportation funding system, changing the fuel tax structure, raising sales taxes, imposing a fee on hybrid vehicles and authorizing regional tax increases for Hampton Roads and northern Virginia to generate more than $1 billion annually for repairing Virginia’s existing roads and bridges and new highway construction.
Farm Use mileage has been extended to 50 miles for everything.
Virginia law requires every moped driver to carry a government-issued photo ID (does not have to be a driver’s license) and every moped driver and passenger must wear a helmet. Drivers must also wear a face shield, safety glasses or goggles unless the moped has a windshield.
Virginia law now requires mopeds operated on Virginia roadways to be titled and registered by July 1,2014, but moped owners can jump start the process this summer. DMV will begin titling and registering mopeds on July 1, 2013. A moped title is $10. The annual registration fee is $20.25.
Police can now stop and ticket people for texting while driving and increasing fines for it from $20 to $125 for a first offense. It had been a secondary offense, meaning police could ticket it only if a driver is stopped for a superseding violation such as speeding. The law also provides for enhanced fines for texting drivers who are convicted of reckless driving.
Every public school must have at least two lock-down drills per year.
School boards are required to define bullying and include policies and procedures for combating it in their student codes of conduct.
Doctors are now required to provide patients they test for the crippling, tick-borne Lyme disease with written information that the tests can sometimes fail to accurately detect the presence of the disease.
Circuit court clerks are no longer allowed to disclose who has a concealed gun permit issued in Virginia.
The state sales tax is increasing to 5.3%, but in many localities in Northern Virginia it will be 6%.