With the new year approaching, here are a look at several new laws that will take effect in 2014, most on Jan. 1:
Motorists are prohibited from passing a bicycle without providing at least three feet of separation between the vehicle and bicycle. If three feet is not possible, the motorist must slow to a reasonable speed and only pass when it’s safe. This law will go into effect Sept. 16, 2014.
When a person refuses an officer’s request to submit to a blood test, or fails to complete one, this law authorizes the issuance of a search warrant to draw blood from a person, to show that the person violated misdemeanor DUI provision.
Anyone under the age of 18 is prohibited from using an electronic wireless communications device to write, send or read a text-based communication while driving, even if it’s equipped with a hands-free device.
Vehicle registration fees
Counties are authorized to increase registration fees by $1 for passenger vehicles and $2 for commercial vehicles to fund programs related to vehicle theft crimes in those counties.
Hit-and-run statute of limitations
The statute of limitations will be extended for hit-and-run collisions that result in death or permanent and serious injury. A criminal complaint can be filed within three years of the offense, or one year after the person was initially identified by law enforcement as a suspect in the offense, whichever comes later, but no more than six years after the offense.
AMBER Alert expansion
AMBER Alerts will be activated after receiving a report that a child has been abducted by anyone, including a custodial parent or guardian, who may cause serious bodily injury or death to the child.