January 1st, 2010
06:05 PM ET

Laws covering texting, tanning beds, trans fat take effect in 2010


Legislatures in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico met in 2009, leading to the enactment of 40,697 laws, many of which take effect January 1.

The new laws cover a variety of areas, from texting and tanning beds to human trafficking and seat-belt safety.

New Hampshire, Oregon and Illinois join 16 other states that prohibit motorists from sending text messages while driving.

Gloria Wilhelm fought for the Illinois law after her son, Matt, was struck and killed while he was riding his bike by a driver who was downloading cell phone ring tones.

"These are incredibly selfish and dangerous behaviors," she said.

A new law in Oregon requires children under the age of 16 to wear a seat belt on an all-terrain vehicle or in a car while on public property.

Same-sex couples will be able to marry in New Hampshire beginning January 1 under New Hampshire General Court HB 436, and the state joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and Iowa in legalizing same-sex marriages. In California, SB 54 requires the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states while such marriages were legal in California.


soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Why write Laws that are not ENFORCED???? we have a Law in Ca.- NO DRIVING while talking on cell phones- & What Does Our Governor & First Lady Do?????? That right- BREAK THE VERY LAW HE HIMSELF SIGNED. 2010- Prediction- the year the people CLEAN HOUSE.

    January 1, 2010 at 9:39 pm |
  2. Annie Kate

    Nice to know we are going to get help in avoiding trans fats. Not smoking in public restaurants is a good law too for those who are allergic to cigarette smoke, or whose meal is ruined by having to breathe other's smoke. Smokers could go outside to smoke where the wind will dissipate the odors and not concentrate it in a small space. This should have been simple good manners and consideration of the others in the area.

    January 1, 2010 at 8:46 pm |

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