New Florida laws for drivers, breastfeeding moms, campers, shoppers are now in effect

As of January 1, 2024, Florida has introduced several new laws that affect drivers, breastfeeding mothers, campers, and shoppers. These laws, signed into effect by Governor Ron DeSantis, span a wide range of public life areas and aim to improve safety, convenience, and public welfare in the state.

  1. Expansion of the “Move Over” Law: This law, part of a larger transportation bill (HB 425), now requires drivers to move over not just for emergency, sanitation, utility service, and construction vehicles, but also for disabled vehicles displaying hazard lights, emergency flares, or emergency signage. Violators of this law risk fines ranging from $60 to $158​​​​.
  2. Persons with Disabilities Registry (HB-1275): This act authorizes law enforcement to maintain a database called the “Persons with Disabilities Registry.” This registry will include information such as the individual’s name, contact details, and relevant disabilities or conditions, aimed at improving interactions between police and individuals with disabilities​​.
  3. Ethics Requirements for Public Officials (SB-774): Local elected officials are now required to disclose their financial dealings, extending the existing requirement for financial disclosure that applies to the governor, lawmakers, county commissioners, school board members, and sheriffs​​.
  4. Pretrial Release and Detention (HB-1627): This law implements changes to Florida’s bail and pretrial detention systems, particularly tightening pretrial release options for certain felony offenders based on their criminal history​​.
  5. State Park Campsite Reservations (HB-109): Florida residents can now book cabins, campsites, and RV spots at state parks a month before non-residents. This gives them a head start for making online reservations for state park facilities​​.
  6. Sheriffs Providing Child Protective Investigative Services (HB-7061): This law, effective January 1, requires seven Florida counties to transfer child protective investigations to the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)​​.
  7. Back-to-School Tax “Holiday”: A tax holiday will allow shoppers to avoid paying sales taxes on certain items such as clothes, school supplies, learning aids, and personal computers within specified price ranges​​.
  8. Lactation Spaces in County Courthouses: Starting January 1, county courthouses are required to provide lactation spaces, with some exceptions, offering support to breastfeeding mothers​​.

These laws reflect Florida’s ongoing efforts to address diverse societal needs and enhance public safety. The expansion of the “Move Over” law, for instance, is a significant step in ensuring safer roads, particularly for emergency responders and motorists on highways.

The implementation of these new laws demonstrates Florida’s commitment to improving the quality of life for its residents and visitors.

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