INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 30, 2015) – There are some important changes to laws in Indiana taking effect on July 1. Many of the changes impact drivers under the age of 21.
In an attempt to keep Hoosier driver’s eyes up and cut down on distracted driving, lawmakers changed state law to remove driving diversions for Hoosiers under 21.
Starting July 1, drivers under 21 are no longer able to use any sort of telecommunication device in the car. The restriction includes hands free and Bluetooth devices. The single exception to the law is calling 911 in case of an emergency.
“It is all designed for the safety of the driver. As we see distracted driving incidences continue to rise, this is just basically trying to put more of a hold on making sure that we decrease the number of distractions for drivers because they are ever increasing,” said Josh Gillespie, the Indiana BMV’s Deputy Communications Director.
In another attempt to cut down on distracted driving lawmakers placed restrictions on passengers for new drivers under 21. During the first six months of driving for anyone under 21, passengers must be 25 years or older. There are some exceptions for family members, spouses, and children.
“Within the first six months of driving, they cannot have any passengers in the car with them unless it is a driver who is 25 years or older or who is a spouse who is 21 years of age, or it could be a parent a guardian, a sibling,” said Gillespie.
Also on July 1, a controversial left lane driver law will take effect. The law stipulates, if a driver holds up traffic in the left lane, police can issue a fine to that driver up to $500.
New laws aren’t only impacting drivers though.
A landmark repeal of the state’s decades old common construction wage will take effect July 1. The law removes a required pay scale for public construction projects.
Also, the Governor signed Jenny’s law which takes effect July 1. The law takes the statute of limitations for certain rape cases in Indiana from five years to ten.