Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

October 1, 2013

Now in effect

Shark fins, cyberbullying among focus of new laws

Maryland’s new laws dealing with use of cellphones by drivers and the banning of assault weapons have gained most of the headlines in recent days. But there are several other new laws that also took effect Oct. 1.

Here is the rundown:

• Cellphones-driving — Talking on a hand-held cellphone is now a primary offense. That means police will be able to pull over drivers and ticket them solely for talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving.

• Cyberbullying —  A new law prohibits people from using an interactive computer server to inflict serious emotional distress on a minor.

• Death penalty repeal — Capital punishment is now banned.

• Drugs-newborns — Health care practitioners who deliver babies are required to report to a local agency if newborns have been exposed to illegal drugs.

• Gun control — The state is banning 45 types of assault weapons, limiting gun magazines to 10 bullets and requiring handgun buyers to be fingerprinted, but opponents are trying to block the law in court.

• Pregnancy-workplace — Maryland law now requires employers with 15 or more employees to make reasonable accommodations for disabilities due to pregnancy.

• Seat belts — Drivers or passengers riding in the front seats of a car are required to wear a seat belt, and police will be able to pull violators over and ticket them $50.

• Shark fins —  Shark fin sales are banned.

• Swimming pools-defibrillators — Counties or municipalities that own or operate a swimming pool will need to a program to implement an external defibrillator program.

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