The ball dropping at midnight signifies more than the start of 2013, it also signals the effective date of a host of new laws right here in the Sunshine state.
Of particular interest to many Tampa Bay area neighborhoods is a change in the civil penalties related to prostitution. The new law will raise the penalties for some acts from $500 to $5,000. The law will channel $4,500 of every fine to help fund safe houses. The other $500 will continue to help pay for drug treatment programs, according to My Fox Tampa Bay.
Another new law of concern to many motorists is a change to Florida statutes that will now allow drivers to flash their headlights to let other motorists know about speed traps on the road ahead.
That law was championed by Land O’ Lakes resident Eric Campbell who fought a ticket issued by the Florida Highway Patrol. While Campbell’s lawsuit is still pending, according to The Tampa Tribune, the state’s law regarding the act of flashing lights to warn other motorists changes tonight.
That chain is just one of many that go into effect as the New Year arrives.
Other new laws include:
- A provision that will allow homeless people to get state ID cards
- The creation of two new specialty license plates for vehicles registered in Florida
- The prohibition of swamp buggies on state roadways unless local authorities allow the act
- An increase in the state’s minimum wage from $7.67 to $7.79 an hour
OK, Lutz, what do you think about the new state laws? Is there a law you’d like to see enacted in 2013? Share your thoughts in the comments section.