The City of Manassas Park Police Department wants to make sure our citizens are informed about the new laws that go into effect today, July 1, 2019 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Here are some of the more significant changes of the new/updated laws:
- Virginia Code §18.2-371.2– Age increase for purchasing tobacco: The minimum age required to purchase tobacco in Virginia will be increased from 18 to 21. Active duty military personnel with a valid military Identification card are exempt from this updated law and will continue to be allowed to purchase tobacco at the age of 18.
- Virginia Code §46.2-921.1– Move Over Law: This law requires drivers to move over one lane, if safe to do so, or reduce ones speed below the posted speed limit when approaching a stationary vehicle that is displaying a flashing, blinking, or alternating red, blue, or amber light. The current law establishes a first offense as punishable as a traffic infraction which carries a maximum fine of $250. Any subsequent violations shall be punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor which carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in prison and/or a $2,500 fine. The updated law will make the first offense of this code section punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Any subsequent offenses of this law will also be Class 1 misdemeanors.
- Virginia Code §46.2-1095-Child Safety Seat: The law governing child safety seats shall be updated to require parents to place their children in rear-facing child safety seats until the age of two or until the child meets the required weight restriction for a front-facing seat. The current law only requires children to remain in rear-facing seats until the age of one. A violation of the new law will carry a $50 fine.
- Virginia Code §46.2-1078.1– Cell phone use in highway work zones: An update to the current law about cell phone usage while driving shall prohibit all hand-held uses of cell phones while driving in a highway work zone. The current law only prohibits texting/emailing while driving on any roadway in Virginia with additional penalties if done in a work zone. Under the updated law, hand-held phone calls and other hand-held cell phone uses shall be forbidden in highway work zones. A violation of the new law shall be punishable by a mandatory fine of $250.
- Unpaid Court Fees No Longer Result in Suspended License: On July 1, 2019, drivers who are unable to pay their court fees will no longer have their licenses suspended. In addition, the budget amendment reinstates driving privileges for the more than 627,000 Virginians who currently have their licenses suspended because of unpaid court fees.
For a comprehensive list of all the new and changed laws going into effect in Virginia please visit: https://bit.ly/2JacGAR