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The New Laws Are Here! The News Laws Are Here! Push-To-Talk Cell Phones, Food Safety, Vaccinations, MORE!

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Photo by D.H. Parks via Flickr
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Here's a quick recap of some of the new laws that went in effect on July 1, according to the L.A. Times. How many have you broken already? Tsk tsk.

  • Ban On Plastic Bags: Unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, we're talking to you. Pharmacies and supermarkets may no longer use plastic bags for carryout items (except for fruit, veggies, raw meat). Paper bags will cost 10 cents per.
  • Bye Bye Hybrid Carpool: Hybrid drivers no longer qualify as a smug, solo carpool simply because they have that awesome yellow sticker. Green decals will be issued to plug-in hybrids and vehicles with hydrogen internal combustion engines next year. White decals (indicating zero-emission vehicles) are permitted in the carpool lane until Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Carbon Monoxide Detectors Mandatory: If you live with a gas stove, fireplace or attached garage, a carbon monoxide detector must be installed.
  • Classrooms That Lock From The Inside: Prompted by campus violence lockdowns, "construction projects submitted to the state must provide plans for rooms in schools to be locked from the inside."
  • Donor Registry Decision: Application forms for California drivers licenses will now force prospective motorists to decide if they want to be an organ donor.
  • Insurance Disclosures Must Be Concise: Insurance companies are required to make their disclosure notices for homeowners short, to the point, and easy to understand in order for homeowners to "determine the adequacy of their coverage in the event of a loss or a major catastrophe."
  • Push-To-Talk Cellphones Considered Cellphones: Once exempt from the hands-free law, drivers who use push-to-talk cellphones while driving will now be in violation.
  • Restaurant Food-Handling Tests Mandatory: All current restaurant employees are now required to pass a food-handling course (available online or in a classroom). New hires after July 1 will have 30 days to pass.
  • Whooping Cough Vaccination Required: All students entering 7th-12th grade must show proof of the whooping cough Tdap vaccination before the fall 2011 school year.