Upcoming Legislation Can Help Make NC Citizens Safer

Several bills have been presented to the North Carolina General Assembly during Session 2011 that could promote safety on our state's highways and roads, and even save lives.

Laura's Law would increase the punishment for some offenders of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Certain DWI offenders who might be subject to serving jail time could include repeat offenders, those driving while a driver's license was revoked due to DWI or offenders who inflicted serious injury to another person while driving impaired. The law would authorize the court to require continuous alcohol monitoring for certain DWI offenders, and it would raise the court costs for DWI offenders up to $10,000 in some cases. Laura's Law is the short name for House Bill 49 and Senate Bill 86.

The Work/School Zones-Speed Camera Pilot Program-or House Bill 145-would establish a pilot program to improve public safety by authorizing the use of electronic speed-measuring systems to detect speed limit violations in highway work and school zones. The act would also establish a civil penalty for speed violations in work and school zones that are detected by those speed-measuring systems, and create a fund to collect those fines.

The month of May would be designated Motorcycle Awareness Month if House Bill 105 becomes law. According to the bill, there are over 132,000 registered motorcycles within North Carolina's borders a couple hundred thousand licensed to drive motorcycles. Motorcycle Awareness Month would promote the safe operation of motorcycles and proper education and training among their users. The month would also be a time when efforts can be focused on bringing attention of other drivers on the state's roads to the presence and prevalence of motorcycles.

Senate Bill 49 would increase the fine for speeding in a school zone on December 1, 2011 if the bill is signed into law. As of now, a person who drives a motor vehicle in a school zone at a speed greater than the speed limit set and posted in the school zone is responsible for an infraction and required to pay a penalty not less than $25. The new law would raise the penalty to at least $100 and not more than $250.

You can browse bill reports, their sponsorship and history by following this link to the NCGA website.

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