New Laws Took Effect Tuesday

People who own reptiles or use cell phones in North Carolina face new restrictions starting Tuesday.

More than 50 new laws approved this year are enforceable starting Dec. 1.

One change expands rules for people who own venomous snakes to include large pythons and crocodiles that aren't native to North Carolina. They must keep or transport these reptiles in secure pens that have locks. A reptile owner could face a high-grade misdemeanor if a reptile isn't handled properly and a stranger or friend dies or suffers a life-threatening injury.

A new ban on texting while driving also could cost violators up to $230 in fines and court costs. Adults can still send and receive phone calls.

Click here for a list of all the laws taking effect in North Carolina in 2009 and January 1, 2010. You'll have to scroll down several pages to find the new laws for December 1.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Dec 2, 2009 at 01:46 PM
    Holy cow, we are proud that you can multitask, however, you have also be behind a vehicle that was talking on a text phone and not paying attention to traffic. No one, can deny that. Its annoying and dangerous. Like you, I use my cell phone but I use judgement like you. Dial when I am stopped or when I have my cruise control on and set. I used an ear phone so I can use my turn signal. That is the number one violation I see with cell phone users. They hold the phone to their left ear, you will not see a turn signal changing lanes or turning.
  • by To Holy Cow on Dec 2, 2009 at 05:21 AM
    Don't get your panties in a wad. Steve said ban all cell phone usage while operating a vehicle. That is not the same as banning all cell phones!
  • by Holy Cow Location: NC on Dec 2, 2009 at 12:29 AM
    To: STEVE, What is your problem? You want a ban on ALL cell phone usage? Why? Can't you do two things at once (drive and talk on a phone)? I'm not a teenager. In fact, (knock on wood) I haven't have a ticket in over 20 years. I certainly talk on my cell (NO TEXTING) and drive. I do my dialing while I am stopped. Please don't judge all drivers by yourself. What if you were out in the boonies and were in an accident and someone came along. Wouldn't you be happy if they had a cell phone to call for help? No, no, don't throw us all in the same boat like we are a bunch of inexperienced drivers. What are you an insurance salesman? :(
  • by B Location: Pitt on Dec 1, 2009 at 09:03 PM
    The law about frames obstructing the full view of the registration number plate has always been in affect, just not enforced.
  • by Ben Location: Greenville on Dec 1, 2009 at 06:32 PM
    Matt: did you even read the law about the license plate frame? You can put any frame you want on there, as long as it doesn't cover up the state name, the stickers, or prevent a photo from being taken of your license plate. Please, put whatever frame you want on there, as long as people can see your license plate. Next time read the law before issuing a public warning.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Dec 1, 2009 at 05:13 PM
    The copy can tell if you have been texting. You can't hide the time stamp on the text. And you can't dial when you are driving either. So that argument won't work. It would be difficult to enforce. But when you cause an accident, they have something on you. And if that accident results in a death, they can probably get your for involuntary manslaughter due to your carelessness. You shouldn't use the cell phone at all when driving. It is a distraction. As for the license plate frame. It makes sense. The purpose of the tag is to identify your vehicle. There should be no obstruction whatsoever. That includes tint and frames. You have the front bumper you can decorate and if you want to have tacky bumper stickers, go for it. Just leave your tag free.
  • by Matt Location: Grifton on Dec 1, 2009 at 04:13 PM
    Word to the wise, it is now illegal to have a licence plate frame on your state licence plate. Tell me they have nothing better to do in Raliegh than this!!!!!
  • by Obama Snake Oil Co Location: Washington on Dec 1, 2009 at 12:34 PM
    I have a great idea for a new law in NC. Its simple, will save us a lot of money and time long term, reduce taxes and spending, stop imposing laws we don't need.......make it illegal to vote for a democrat in NC. Whad ya think?
  • by Steve Location: Rocky Mount on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:21 AM
    I wish the cell phone Ban would include ANY cell phone use while operating any vehicle. Good luck with that though, even the cops in this town can't drive without yapping on their cells.
  • by bigfruitbasket Location: NC on Dec 1, 2009 at 11:07 AM
    It's so that if a person is involved in an accident while texting, the officer can tack on more charges. Plus, prosecuting attorneys will have another charge to level at folks who cause an accident while texting. Cops will have a hard time seeing someone texting while driving and will have another opportunity to levy tickets and fines. Plus, this ban actually makes sense...some teenagers can't do anything without texting ALL the time--they act ridiculous.
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