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New traffic laws ahead road sign

New year, new road rules. Find out what you might need to start or stop doing behind the wheel to stay on the right side of the law in 2020 if you drive in Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, or Ohio!

New Traffic Laws in Arkansas

Two key changes take effect in Arkansas’ transportation laws in 2020:

  • Starting January 1, 2020, law enforcement officers will gain real-time access to drivers’ proof of auto insurance. Under this law, auto insurers covering vehicles in Arkansas must provide certain policyholder data to the Arkansas Online Insurance Verification System.
  • Back in 2017, a study by the Arkansas Department of Transportation recommended raising the speed limit on certain roads. As a result of the study, the speed limit for a controlled-access highway will increase from 65 to 75 mph, as long as the roadway is in a rural area and has at least four lanes divided by a median strip. The new speed limit becomes effective July 1, 2020, notes the Arkansas House of Representatives.

New Traffic Laws in Florida

Starting January 1, 2020, Florida will crack down even harder on motorists using handheld devices while driving in school or construction zones.

On October 1, 2019, police officers were given the authority to pull over motorists for holding electronic devices and using them to talk or text while going through a school or construction zone. Officers were allowed to issue warnings for such infractions, but not tickets. That all changes on January 1, 2020, when authorities will be able to write tickets to motorists for holding a device while driving in a school or construction zone.

After January 1, 2020, breaking the texting-and-talking law in school or construction zones will result in a $30 fine for the first offense, with no dings to your driving record. If you’re hit with a second violation within five years, though, the moving violation will go on your driving record, and the fine will increase.

“You can’t have the phone in your hand at all,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Derrick Rahming told radio station WUSF. “The only thing you can do is talk on a hands-free device.”

New Traffic Laws in North Carolina

Beginning July 1, 2020, North Carolina motorists must replace their license plates every seven years. Previously, motorists could hang onto their plates as long as they lasted. The change affects plates renewed or issued on or after the effective date.

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles says the new mandate won’t lead to extra costs for motorists, reports ABC News.

New Traffic Laws in Ohio

On July 1, 2020, Ohio motorists will no longer be required to have a front license plate on their vehicles. However, don’t turn your old license plate into a commemorative wall plaque just yet! However, lobbyists from ridesharing companies are urging lawmakers to reconsider the law due to safety concerns. In other words, there’s a chance the new license plate law will be repealed before it even takes effect. For now, hold on to both your “Birthplace of Aviation” plates.

Do your driving habits need to change in light of these new traffic and insurance laws? Let’s chat! Call or visit your nearest Direct Auto Insurance location today to speak with a knowledgeable agent.