New Year Welcomes Oddball State Laws
Many new, unusual state laws will take effect when the ball drops at midnight and millions of Americans ring in the New Year, including one that will limit the number of cats in a household.
Turns out 2013 will be unlucky for cat lovers in Wellington, Kan., where the city will be restricting the number of cats in a household to no more than four.
The law was put in place after 231 cats were sent to animal clinics in 2012, Wellington Police Chief Tracy Heath told the Wellington Daily News.
"Those are cats that go to the animal clinic, they're there for the allotted time and then, unfortunately, they are euthanized," Heath told the newspaper.
Another unusual law taking effect at midnight is Public Act 97-743 in Illinois. This law imposes a fine of $1,000 on anyone who pops a wheelie on a motorcycle while speeding. While this law might upset some motorcyclists, the state is now giving them a free pass to go through red lights.
Motorcycles are often not heavy enough to trigger magnetic sensors at traffic lights to inform them a vehicle has pulled up. Motorcyclists usually have to wait for a car to pull up before the light turns green.
The new bill states that after a "reasonable" amount of time, the motorcycle could pass the red light if the coast is clear. The law doesn't apply to cities where the population exceeds 2 million people.
Illinois is also imposing a law cracking down on those who posses, sell or distribute shark fins. For those that haven't looked at a map lately, Illinois is nowhere near an ocean.
Come 12:01 a.m. in Concord, Mass., plastic bottles will be considered contraband. Concord will be the first town in the nation to outlaw plastic bottles.
As of Jan. 1, it will no longer be illegal to flash your headlights in Florida to warn drivers about a speeding trap set by police.
In California, more than 800 laws are about to take effect, including one that allows driverless vehicles on the road. But a human must be present in the passenger's seat of all computer-driven cars.
As for those Californians who are still driving, you can now whip out your proof of insurance on your smart phone if police pull you over.
"What a wonderful thing if you have your proof of insurance all the time," state resident Mike Dobson said. "Maybe we can have our driver's license on there, you know?"
Those who love deep fryers in North Carolina need to take into consideration that it's a misdemeanor to steal used cooking oil, according to Torbett's Grease Law. It's a felony if the value of the stolen grease - or the grease plus its container - is worth more than $1,000.
If you want to stay out of trouble in Kentucky, don't release pigs into the wild. The state's growing population of feral pigs has caused officials to slap a fine on any person caught releasing hogs into the wild.