Some new, stricter motor vehicle laws go into effect today.
One of them is that anyone convicted of distracted driving will be penalized with one point on his or her driver’s license.
Points go against a driver’s license for two years and licenses are suspended for anyone with more than 10 points, according to regulations posted on the state Department of Motor Vehicle’s Web site.
“These are important for DMV customers and citizens to know, and many help to increase safety awareness,” DMV Commissioner Melody A. Currey said in a statement.
Here is what you need to know about changes:
License Points – Operator Re-Training – Disqualification
- One point will go on the driver license record of anyone convicted of distracted driving. Fines also will be increased.
- Two points will be assessed on the driving record for convictions of violations of highway work zone safety laws. Fines also will be increased.
- Drivers convicted of going in excess of 75 mph in a work zone and commercial drivers convicted of exceeding 65 mph will be required to attend the operator retraining program. Fines will also be increased.
- For commercial driver license holders, the definition of “serious violation” will now include talking on a cell phone while operating a commercial vehicle and can lead to disqualification of the license. (Texting is already prohibited.)
- A highway work zone safety and driver responsibility question must be on every knowledge test.
- A question about the dangers of distracted driving, including a ban on use of cell phones and electronic devices, must be on every knowledge test.
Owners of ATVs and boats will be prohibited from registering them if they owe property tax on a motor vehicle.
- Electric vehicle registrations changed from annual to biennial.
- Snowmobile and All-Terrain Vehicle registrations are changed from March 31 to two years from the registration date.
- Driver education classroom information must now include highway work zone safety and driver responsibilities
- Driving schools can increase from $125 to $150 the cost for the required eight-hour road safe-driving practices information session all license applicants must attend.