Just like other states, Minnesota has new laws in effect as of July 1st.
One of these laws are very important especially if you have small children. Starting on July 1st, children younger than 8 years old or less than 4-feet-9-inches tall will have to travel in booster seats. Booster seats are inexpensive and vital to protect your youngster while riding in your car. You can use your car’s seat belt to buckle in the booster seat. If your child is younger than one, don’t forget to use a child car seat that is rear-facing. After age one, you can have the car seat front-face. Fines for violating the booster seal law are waived if the vehicle owner can prove a safety seat was purchased within two weeks of being stopped.
In addition, starting today, police can stop you if you aren’t buckled up. Previously, the police had to stop you on another traffic offense first. This is also a very important law that has proven to save lives.
For Minnesota boaters, a new “move-over” law also is in effect today. This new law requires boaters to stay clear of law enforcement watercraft that have emergency lights flashing. This law provides the same protection for officers on the water that is similar to laws for police and other emergency personnel on Minnesota roads. Under the new law, watercraft operators must move safely away from law enforcement boats and maintain a slow, no-wake speed within 150 feet of the law enforcement watercraft.
Finally, an important law, named for Brandon Swanson, a 19-year-old who disappeared last May after running his car off the road in rural western Minnesota, takes effect. This law requires police and sheriffs to start searching right away when adults disappear under suspicious circumstances. Previously, the police would wait 24 or 48 hours to begin their investigation. Currently, according to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Minnesota has 31 missing or abducted persons and 15 runaways.
It seems that these new laws will help protect our kids as well as drivers and passengers. It will help save lives and really doesn’t impose a hardship to anyone.