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Moving to a new state? Safety laws that may be surprisingly different

Moving to a new state? Safety laws that may be surprisingly different

When you lived in your old city, you could enjoy a bike ride around the park without wearing a helmet. Try that in a city like Sykesville, MD, Green burgh, NY, or Oklahoma City and you could find yourself with a ticket! Bike helmet laws aren’t the only safety laws which vary by state. If you are moving, make sure to update yourself on these laws so you don’t end up with fines to pay.

Cell phone use

Many states now have laws requiring you to use hands-free equipment if you wish to talk on a cell phone while driving. Some states, such as California, have made it illegal for minors to use a cell phone for any purpose even with a hands-free device.


Texting while driving is a leading cause of vehicle accidents and is against the law in many states. Most states don’t give you points for this, but some do – which means your insurance rates, could increase.

Seat belts

In many states, the driver is responsible for ensuring that everyone in the vehicle is wearing a safety device. Some states only require this of front-seat passengers.

Child safety seats

This can vary significantly by state. States usually base their requirements on the age of the child and/or the height of the child.

Headlight laws

Read up on the state laws so you know whether you are expected to keep headlights on at all times!

Leaving children or pets unattended in cars

In some states, it is illegal to leave even your dog in the car unattended if the weather is hot. Many states have laws against leaving young children in a vehicle unattended, and/or laws about leaving children in vehicles with the keys still in the ignition.

Smoking in public places

It is no secret that states and localities are cracking down on smoking. Almost all of the most populous cities have enacted smoking bans in bars and restaurants, and some states have made laws against smoking outdoors in certain public places, such as a specific distance from a hospital or school.

Smoking in a vehicle with a minor

If you smoke and have children, it could be illegal to do so in a car.

Motorcycle laws

Many states require motorcycle drivers and/or passengers to wear helmets and sometimes also approved eye wear.

Snow tire laws

Snow tires can be life-saving in helping you avoid an accident, but they are also bad for roads. Some states have laws which require drivers to use snow tires but also prohibit snow tire use during certain periods.

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