Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Have a Safe '94: New State Laws Aim to Make Life More Secure

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Have a Safe '94: New State Laws Aim to Make Life More Secure

Article excerpt

Laws that take effect in many states next month have a simple, direct message - safety first!

California and Tennessee will require children to wear helmets while riding bicycles. Oregon, New Hampshire and Tennessee will check would-be teachers for criminal records. Hawaii will make barbers train longer.

State legislators are trying to increase security for their constituents in an insecure world:

Florida, stunned by a spate of killings of European tourists, banned guns from the hands of anyone under 18, except for hunting, marksmanship practice or competition.

The threat of violence inspired a California law that allows school districts to forbid students from wearing gang garb in class.

New Hampshire doctors who test positive for the AIDS virus or hepatitis B will need special permission to perform invasive surgery.

Some observers forecast a slew of crime bills next year in reaction to rising concern about crime. For now, safety, more than crime, is the watchword.

Starting Jan. 1, riding in the open back of a pickup truck will be illegal in California. Also in California, children 6 and younger will need life jackets in motorboats and sailboats less than 26 feet long.

Tinted car windows can be only so dark in Oklahoma under regulations dictating how much light the windows must let in.

Seeking safety against drunken drivers and following the lead of many other states, Florida, New Mexico and New Hampshire lowered the permissible level of alcohol in the blood to 0.08 percent from 0.10 percent. In California, anyone under 21 caught driving with a blood-alcohol level of just 0.01 will lose his or her license for a year.

Under a yearlong experiment, Illinois will join about 30 states that require repeat drunken drivers to use devices that prevent a car from starting if the driver has alcohol on his breath. …

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